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Morning Skate: Finish them!

Yes, a Mortal Kombat reference. Today's game is the best chance for the Wings to clinch the series. Going back to Phoenix is not ideal at all and a win at a rowdy Joe Louis Arena would do wonders for the next round.

  • Today's game starts at 2:00 p.m on NBC. Got it? 2:00 p.m., don't be late.
  • Jimmy Howard was solid in Game 5, continuing to build on his confidence following the shutout from Game 4. Howard stopped 30 of 31 en route to the G5 victory. The save he had on Hanzal (I believe) was incredible. Hopefully he shows up to play again today.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov has been a lot more vulnerable than expected. He's been a rebound machine in the series and it's cost him. He's solid on his angles but has been giving up rebounds that are way too juicy. I wouldn't mind if that continued today, Ilya.
  • Detroit needs to keep the pressure in the Phoenix end all game long instead of just random pockets of the game. The times they had the puck in the Phoenix end, they were stringing some nice passes together and controlling the tempo of the game. They can't let Phoenix play at full speed so puck possession is yet again very crucial.
  • The power play didn't score in the last game (the first time this series) but the penalty kill continued its solid play. The PK unit has now killed off 19 straight and has provided a bit of assurance when they go down a man.
  • Game 5 had a lot of streaky play from both teams. There were times where Phoenix was out-hustling Detroit up and down the ice but there were also numerous occasions in which the Wings played solid and dominated the play. Detroit needs to control the tempo in Game 6 and make the Phoenix players work for everything.
  • So I was doing an interview via phone with Brendan Shanahan yesterday and my phone shut off during the middle of it. I was on my second question and the phone just died. When I turned it back on, I didn't have a call back number in the call log or anything. Thanks a lot, Balsillie. 
  • Pavel Datsyuk now has 3 goals in the series. Datsyuk's play (paired with Zetterberg's on the second line) has helped the Red Wings be effective scorers and created a big disparity in offensive depth between the two teams.
  • Also, when Pavel scores, the Wings win. Detroit's 3-0 in the games that Datsyuk scores so here's to hoping for another today from #13.
  • Wings found some space in the middle of the ice in game 5 and need to continue to get that and make the Coyotes defense spread out.The space they had helped to create chances with Bryzgalov in the center of the net while also getting some good shots on movement plays.
  • Hurray for Homer getting the game winning goal. Hopefully it'll help his offense get on track for the rest of the series.
  • How does Hank always seem to find the empty net? Also what great work by Valtteri Filppula to gain control of the puck on the empty netter. 
  • Gator won 5 of the 6 faceoffs he had in game 5. That's the way you get on Uncle Mike's good side.
  • Around the league: Marian Hossa scored the game winner in overtime for the Blackhawks after leaving the penalty box for a 5-minute boarding major. Nashville's power play, which has a goose-egg in the series, gave up a shorthanded goal to Patrick Kane late in the game and Hossa's goal ended the game, putting Chicago up 3 games to 2. Pascal Dupuis' overtime goal eliminated the Senators from the playoffs as the Penguins scored 4 unanswered goals to win the game. Oh, and the Sharks actually won a playoff series. Beating the Avalanche 5-2 and taking the series 4-2. No way.
  • Game today: Canucks look to eliminate the Los Angeles Kings with a win. Vancouver took a 3-2 series lead with a 7 goal performance.
  • Five For Howling is your SB Nation Coyotes blog.

Let's do this thing, GO WINGS!