Detroit at Phoenix (1/20/09)

Tonight the Red Wings went to Phoenix for the final game of their long road trip and their final game before the all star break.  The net minders were Conklin for the Wings and Bryzgalov for the Coyotes.  Franzen was still out with the same hip strain that caused him to leave the game in San Jose.  He expects to be fully recovered after the all star break.

About halfway through the first period Brad Stuart went head first into the boards very heavily.  He was down on his knees and couldn’t get his hands up to slow himself down.  He went straight in and just tucked his head under.  It looked like he hit with the back of his neck right on the top of the spine.  When I saw the replay I was worried that he might have broken his neck.  Luckily, he was able to stand up and walk off the ice with some assistance. 

Detroit had a power play in the first period and Samuelsson got the puck in low around the bottom of the circle.  Bryzgalov gave him a puck-sized sliver of net over the short side shoulder and Samuelsson took the shot.  He placed it perfectly and scored to take the lead for the Wings.

Later in the first period the Coyotes evened the score.  Morris shot the puck from the top of the circle.  He got all of it and beat Conklin with the hard shot.  There was a delayed penalty coming to Detroit but Phoenix did not have an extra skater on the ice yet at the time of the goal.  It still negated the penalty of course but it was an even strength goal.

The Coyotes scored a power play goal in the second period.  It took just a few seconds of the power play time for them to do it.  Right off the faceoff the puck came back to Yandle.  He ripped one that beat Conklin for the goal.  That put Phoenix up by one.

Then Phoenix took two slashing penalties close enough together that Detroit had over a minute of 5 on 3 power play time.  Lidstrom scored with a blast from the point with one second left on the first penalty.  Apparently the penalty clock wasn’t quite accurate though.  The official ruling was that the first penalty had expired so the Wings did not stay on the power play.

Hossa was stripped of the puck and Coyotes started up ice.  Hossa was able to get back and cover the man with the puck but he passed it back and then it went across to Jokinen who scored to take the lead.

At the end of the second period Detroit had a power play after Lidstrom was high-sticked.  On the power play Lidstrom released a shot from the blue line.  It hit a stick in front of the net and went in.  That goal tied the game at three with just a few seconds left in the period.

Early in the third Phoenix had a power play.  They moved the puck well and Jovanovski scored to take back the lead.  Then, moments later Conklin, made a huge save to prevent things from getting any worse.  That showed some great concentration by him to not be rattled by the recent goal.

He was beat for another goal a few minutes later though.  It was a great individual effort by Lisin.  He chipped puck up past Lidstrom and went after it.  Then he brought it towards the middle after making a great move against Rafalski.  He released a hard shot that earned him the Coyotes fifth goal.

In the final few minutes Conklin went to the bench for and extra skater.  Lisin scored an empty net goal making the score six to three.

This is the first time this year that the Wings have had back to back regulation losses.  

At some point during the third period Datsyuk left the game.  It was unclear why at the time.  Later it was revealed that he had a hip flexor problem and was going to have to miss the all star game.  It was also announced that Lidstrom would be skipping the all star game because of an elbow problem.  Babcock will still be going as assistant coach to the Sharks Todd McClellan.  Brad Stuart was not seriously injured but has a sore neck.

This was not a very good game for the Wings.  It’s a good time for a week long break during which they can recover and regroup a little bit.  Franzen, Stuart, Datsyuk and Lidstrom are all have problems of varying severity so the break couldn’t come at a better time.

This 3-6 loss brings us to:
31-9-6
68 points

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