While the Detroit Red Wings were happy to match their longest winning streak of the season at three games with a 3-2 win against the Phoenix Coyotes, it became a pyrrhic victory in the middle of the second period when defensemen Jonathan Ericsson collided with Shane Doan.
Ericsson had to be helped off the ice and did not play the rest of the game. Coach Mike Babcock did not know the extent of the injury at the end of the game tonight.
If Ericsson misses tomorrow's game, it will be the eighth Red Wings player out with an injury right now.
For Kris Newbury, who was called up from Grand Rapids earlier today to fill Darren Helm's roster spot, he jumped into the action early.
Just 23 seconds after leaving the penalty box on a goaltender interference call, Kris Draper came flying up the boards to the left of Ilya Bryzgalov. Draper was trying to set up Brad Miller, but the pass was out of his reach. As it turned out, Newbury was also coming down the pipe. Newbury outskated Martin Hanzel to make it 1-0 on Newbury's first goal as a Red Wing.
Five minutes later, with Newbury back in the box on another penalty, Patrick Eaves took advantage of a Phoenix turnover and went from end-to-end to put a beautiful wrister on the top shelf past Bryzgalov to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead with his third goal of the season.
After the Doan/Ericsson collision left Ericsson in a pile on the ice to the left of Jimmy Howard, the Coyotes kept control of the puck to prevent a whistle. Taylor Pyatt held onto the puck, deked past a couple Wings and put it past Howard for his fifth of the season.
In the second, Justin Abdelkader sent a pass to Derek Meech mid-ice. Meech fired off a knuckle shot that took a funny bounce, went off Bryzgalov's glove and found the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
But with 37 seconds left in the second, Martin Hanzal backhanded a pass to Radim Vrbata, skating along the boards to the left of Howard. Vrbata's attempt went off Todd Bertuzzi's stick, which altered direction just enough to get it past Howard to cut the lead back down to one.
Neither team would score in the third. Howard and Bryzaglov each ended the evening with 29 saves.
The Red Wings will face the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Player Of The Game: Patrick Eaves. While Kris Newbury had an eventful first game, Eaves played 19:14 and got the key second goal that helped the Wings hold off the Coyotes.