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Three Goals In Third Gives Wings 4-1 Win, 3-2 Series Lead

Justin Abdelkader celebrates with Drew Miller after Miller scored in the first period.
Justin Abdelkader celebrates with Drew Miller after Miller scored in the first period.

It is not considered ideal for a team to only play solid hockey for 10 minutes of a 60-minute hockey game.

That being said, if you're going to do that, it helps for two other things to happen:

* You score three goals in that span.

* You have a goaltender who is playing for a full 60 minutes.

The Detroit Red Wings did just that, jumping from a tied game to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, giving them the opportunity to end the series on Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Jimmy Howard may have given up one more goal tonight than he did on Tuesday, but he also faced more intense shots, and made some spectacular saves to keep Detroit in the game. While it might be a stretch to say he stole the game, it could just as easily have been a one-goal or tied game after regulation time. 

Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg lit the lamp in that ten-minute stretch, with Holmstrom and Datsyuk scoring just 1:09 apart, to pull away with the win.

Drew Miller also scored for the Red Wings in the first period.

Ed Jovanovski managed the only tally for the Coyotes as they put 31 shots on Howard.

Detroit would score first. Niklas Kronwall put the puck on Drew Miller's stick as Miller skated behind the net. He pushed it towards the crease, where it deflected off Vernon Fiddler's skate while he was engaged with Justin Abdelkader and went past Ilya Bryzgalov. There was a video review, but it confirmed the goal, with Brad Stuart getting the second assist.

In the second period, the Coyotes would tie it up. Just after the Wings killed off a power play, Adrian Aucoin fired a shot from the blue line Howard could handle, but Jovanovski was camped out in front of the net with Lidstrom, and he was able to put in for his first of the playoffs. Matthew Lombardi picked up the other assist on the play.

It was in the third that Detroit seemed to shake off the cobwebs. Datsyuk picked up a faceoff win and put the puck out to the blue line with Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom's shot deflected off Bryzgalov, who remained blissfully unaware of the save. Holmstrom and Aucoin each seemed to follow the puck, but it was Holmstrom who swung his stick to pick up his second goal of the playoffs.

Just 69 seconds later, Holmstrom would return the favor, with a great effort along the boards to put the puck on the stick of Johan Franzen. Franzen managed to get the puck to Datsyuk, who proceeded to play with the puck for just a moment before wristing a backhander that went over Bryzgalov's shoulder, off the post, and into the net. It was the third of the playoffs for Datsyuk.

And with Bryzgalov sitting on the bench, the Red Wings would close out the scoring, as Henrik Zetterberg would put a Valterri Filppula pass into the net for his sixth, one behind Mikael Samuelsson for the NHL playoff goal lead.

Game 6 will be Sunday at 2:00 PM ET at Joe Louis Arena.

Player of the Game: Jimmy Howard. Make no mistake about it: it was Howard's incredible saves tonight that kept the Red Wings in this game during stretches that Detroit seemed to be utterly disinterested in trying to win.