Detroit at Phoenix (10/22/09)

Tonight the Red Wings were in Phoenix to take on the Coyotes at the unfortunately named “ Arena”. No offense to the Coyotes but that has to be worst stadium name on the planet. If that’s the name of the highest bidder I say you go with the second highest bidder.

This is the first stop on Detroit’s five game road trip. Datsyuk returned to the lineup tonight which will hopefully help a lot both offensively and defensively. He only missed two games but it seemed like much more than that. Osgood was in net for the Wings and Bryzgalov was the goalie for the Coyotes.

The Red Wings started the game with a ton of energy. They were looking great and generating a lot of offense. Early on Datsyuk looked like his old self with a glorious scoring chance that was stopped by Bryzgalov. Then at the other end the Wings had some trouble getting the puck out of their own end and the Coyotes ended up nearly scoring. Luckily Osgood stayed with the puck and was able to stop it.

Towards the end of the first period Holmstrom was called for slashing. Within a few seconds of the start of the power play Aucoin ripped one from the blue line. Osgood stopped it but it bounced up in the air and Lombardi was there to knock it out of the air and into the net. It was close to crossbar height but not above it so the Coyotes were up one to nothing on the power play goal.

With less than a minute to go Jovanovski was called for interference. Osgood went to the bench for the extra skater on the delayed call. By the time play stopped the Wings had less than 30 seconds left in the period to work on the power play. Right off the faceoff Zetterberg shot from the point. Holmstrom was in front of the net and the puck deflected off Datsyuk’s stick and then Holmstrom’s stick and in to the net to tie the game.

That ended the first period with the scored tied at one. Osgood had done a great job just to keep the score tight. Although Detroit had a lot off offense, they gave up a few good chances. Luckily Osgood bailed them out as necessary.

Nearing the halfway point of the second period the Red Wings scored what was probably the most beautiful goal of the year so far. Zetterberg passed the puck ahead to Datsyuk on the rush. Datsyuk pulled up along the boards about even with the faceoff dot. Lebda had joined the rush and Datsyuk made a perfect pass across the ice right on his tape. Lebda just had to tap it to redirect it by Bryzgalov who never had a prayer of stopping it. That was Lebda’s first goal of the season and it sure was a beauty with assists by Datsyuk and Zetterberg. That made it two to one Red Wings.

A few minutes later Upshall was called for slashing. After the whistle Maltby got knocked to the ice. He had words with Aucoin who may have got in a few punches. Nothing really developed. Maltby got two minutes, Aucoin got four and Upshall got two minutes for the original infraction. The Wings ended up with a power play but weren’t able to convert.

There was no more scoring in the second period. The Wings had another power play when the period ended. They started the third 50 seconds of carry over time but that was also killed off by the Coyotes.

With 2:40 left in the game Phoenix drove the net. There was a mad scrum in Osgood’s lap and the puck ended up going into the net. It looked like it went in off of Vrbata’s skate but didn’t look like he kicked it. The goal was awarded to Prucha though so Vrbata must have not touched it at all. Mike Babcock was extremely hot that the goal was allowed because he felt Osgood was interfered with by Vrbata. He had a legitimate argument but you could also argue that Vrbata was pushed into Osgood.

The game stayed tied until the end of regulation thanks to some great saves by Osgood during the final minute of the third period.

In the overtime period Aucoin brought the puck into the Red Wings zone and shot it. Osgood blocked it with his pad but the puck continued. It hit Osgood’s stick and redirected into the net to give the Coyotes the win.

Osgood played a great game tonight. Also, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi all had really good nights. As a whole I thought the team play with a lot of energy but they had a lot of defensive break downs. Osgood was great at bailing them out throughout the night but it shouldn’t have to come to that.

This was a very disappointing loss because it really did seem like the Wings played well enough that they should have won. At least they were able to get a point out of it.

This 3-2 overtime loss brings us to:
8 points

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