Detroit's defense must still be back in Phoenix as a four goal performance (again) put the Red Wings in a 2-1 series hole.
Phoenix got the lead with 29 seconds elapsed as Sami Lepisto put home a loose puck in the slot. The chance started with a carry-in and shot by Petr Prucha that Jimmy Howard fought off but a clearing attempt failed and Lepisto had a wide open net. Valtteri Filppula scored on the power play for Detroit late in the third to tie it up with a shot from in tight on Ilya Bryzgalov that somehow made it through.
Wojtek Wolski scored the go-ahead goal for Phoenix late in the second period with a put back over a sliding Howard. Howard gave up a rebound on a Matthew Lombardi shot and Wolski was there to clean up. The play started when a pass from Niklas Kronwall turned into a neutral zone turnover that Lee Stempniak fed to Lombardi.
Petr Prucha scored on a beautiful passing play from Radim Vrbata to put the Coyotes up 3-1 in the third period. Prucha dropped a pass to Vrbata before cutting to the net, leaving Rafalski and Lidstrom behind and Prucha went forehand to backhand and beat Howard.
Johan Franzen got one back for the Red Wings in the third period with a top shelf shot in the only spot that Bryzgalov had left open. The momentum looked like it might be swinging back towards Detroit a bit but a bad/late change from Jonathan Ericsson left Nicklas Lidstrom rushing to make a decision on an odd man rush. Lidstrom took the middle man that was already tied up instead of Vrbata streaking down the side with the puck. Vrbata ripped a shot on net and put the Coyotes lead to two goals. The shot was one that Howard probably should have stopped but he missed it and the Wings momentum was no more.
A few late flurries went unfinished and the Coyotes walked out of today's game with a 4-2 win and a 2-1 series win. The Wings play again on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The defense was a particularly bad effort in today's game and it didn't help Howard out one bit. It looked early on that it might be a game where Howard might struggle with rebound control and the defensive lapses that have plagued the Wings all season long struck back with a vengeance today.
Credit's due to Phoenix though as they played most of the game without captain Shane Doan and actually played better. Doan went shoulder first into the boards after tripping over Howard. After Doan's departure, the Coyotes played a more structured game and passed better. They outworked Detroit in a lot of aspects in this game and took a win because of that.
Shocking stat of the night: Nicklas Lidstrom was a -3. Anyone remember that happening ever in the playoffs?
Player of the game: Henrik Zetterberg. Hank had two assists, five SOG, two hits and was consistently the most pressing and involved player the Wings tossed on the ice. Honorable mention: Joe Louis Arena boards