Phoenix at Detroit (1/26/10)

Tonight the Red Wings faced the Phoenix Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena. Bryzgalov was in net for the Coyotes and for the Red Wings it was Jimmy Howard. In what can only be described as extremely fantastic news, Kronwall returned to the lineup tonight. That should really help things for the Red Wings. I’ve also heard rumors that Lilja may be close to returning from his concussion problem which started last season. This was another huge game for the Wings as the Coyotes were five points ahead in the standings.

Kronwall made his presence felt right off the bat. He was very active, hitting people and making plays. He looked pretty good for somebody who hasn’t played in so long.

Detroit got on the board first when Rafalski activated offensively to pick up a loose puck and pass it across to Zetterberg who then hit Datsyuk in the slot. Datsyuk buried it for the first goal of the game.

About halfway through the second period, the Coyotes were on the power play. The Red Wings had just about killed it off when Lombardi shot the puck. Howard stopped the initial shot but he was sprawled on the ice and Upshall found the rebound and poked it into the corner of the net to tie the game at one.

A few minutes later Vrbata got the puck down low and both defensemen went over to his side of the ice. He spotted Yandle all alone as he had separated from Filppula. Vrbata passed it to Yandle who one-timed it perfectly into the net giving the Coyotes the two to one lead. It was a beautifully set up goal.

Just 11 seconds later the grinders came out and tied it up. It was kind of a sloppy looking play but it worked! Helm passed ahead to Draper who had trouble handling it. He chipped it toward the net and it went up high on Bryzgalov. He knocked it down with his glove and Eaves came flying in to bang it home and re-tie the game.

In the third period the Coyotes went on the power play and the Wings had trouble clearing for an extended period. Jimmy Howard made one incredible save after another, even without his goal stick for while. He looked like a real superstar.

Then Lidstrom got the puck at the point and dished it ahead to Zetterberg. Zetterberg gave it back to him and he walked it towards the slot and fired a backhander with Cleary in front of the net causing trouble. The puck found its way through and into the net. That gave the Red Wings the three to two lead.

A few minutes later there was a big pile up in front of the Red Wings’ net and a bit of a scrum ensued after the whistle. Upshall was roughing it up with Datsyuk of all people. When it was all sorted out the Red Wings had a power play thanks to a roughing call on Shane Doan.

During the power play Filppula passed to Bertuzzi down low. He tried to pass it back but the puck hit a skate and bounced out to where Lidstrom was waiting all by himself. He popped it into the empty side of the net and gave Detroit a two goal cushion.

Later in the third Phoenix was on the power play and Yandle shot from the blue line. It looked like the puck hit Stuart or Maltby and deflected into the net. That made it a one goal game with about a minute and a half to go.

Soon after that the Coyotes pulled their goalie and turned up the pressure.

With 21.6 second left Stuart tried to clear and couldn’t. The Coyotes got the puck low and then it came to the front of the net where it hit Jovanovski in the skates. He swept it between Howard’s legs and tied the game sending it to overtime.

In the overtime Shane Doan took the puck to the net. Howard stretched out and Doan patiently held it until Howard was down. Then he chipped it up and over Howard’s glove for the win.

This was another example of the Red Wings playing a really good game and then collapsing at the end. It’s getting old. I just don’t understand it. They looked great through almost the entire game and then all of the sudden everything just evaporates.

This 5-4 overtime loss brings us to:
59 points

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