Morning Skate: Game 3 - It's the 3rd Game of the Series

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 16: Johan Franzen #93 of the Detroit Red Wings returns to the game in the second period after being badly cut on the face in the first period while playing the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This post won't be published until 8 a.m. on Monday.  But I can tell you this, it's being written at 1 a.m.  I just got home from work not too long ago and my girlfriend is sleeping in my bed, her father is sleeping on the floor next to the bed, one of my best friends from home (who's running the Boston Marathon, most likely as you're reading this) is sleeping on the couch, AND his girlfriend is sleeping in the spare bedroom.  And I, well, I am sitting on the floor of my bathroom and drinking a nice cold beer.  

And you know what?  Hell yes.  Because sometimes playoff hockey is like sitting on the bathroom floor and enjoying a frosty beverage in the middle of the night.  Actually, playoff hockey is probably nothing like sitting on the bathroom floor and drinking beer, but that's where I am and this is what I'm doing.  And the Red Wings are in Glendale getting ready to play some hockey.  That's where they are and that's what they're doing.  

It's game 3, damnit.  The Wings are up 2-0 and have played some damn fine hockey at times.  Either way after game 4, the Wings will be flying back to Detroit.  Let's make sure that the Coyotes are on a plane too.  Not to Detroit Winnipeg.  Game 3 is the difference-maker.  We've secured home ice advantage so far and there is the old saying that it isn't a series until someone loses at home.  It's time for someone to lose at home.  It's time to take a dominant, commanding 3-games-to-none lead in this series.

Who's with me?

Puck drop is at 10:30p ET on Fox Sports Detroit and Versus for us out-of-town folk.

Five For Howling is your SBNation Coyotes blog. 

More awesomeness after the jump.

The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Danny Cleary -- Justin Abdelkader -- Todd Bertuzzi

Jiri Hudler -- Valtteri Filppula -- Drew Miller

Patrick Eaves -- Darren Helm -- Kris Draper


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Brian Rafalski -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Ruslan Salei


Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald


Scratches: Mike Modano, Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Henrik Zetterberg (knee), Chris Osgood (groin)

Expect the same lineup as game 1 and 2.   And why not?  This lineup as won two straight games and will be going for their third.  Modano is getting rest., Hank is healing up, and Kindl and the Aces are learning from the press box.


This is a very top heavy preview.

Key to the Game:  It's still specialty teams.  Stay out of the box.  And when you do go to the box, whether it's a legit call or not, kill of the penalty.  When the Coyotes go to the box, score a power play goal.  Killing penalties + scoring on the power play = winning.

Match-up to Watch:  Pavel Datsyuk vs. everybody.  He's a machine.  He's a magician.  He's not of this Earth.  Can you stop him?  No.  Can I stop him?  No.  Can the Coyotes?  Hell no.  He's Pavel F*cking Datsyuk.  He owns your ass.

For Discussion:  The Wings are 52-53 all time in game 3's.  Let's get to .500, bitches.


Let's Go Red Wings.

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