Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 2 (4/16/10)

After a frustrating game one on Wednesday, the Red Wings had another crack at the Coyotes tonight. The Wings played fairly well in the first game. They had a ton of shots but weren’t able to stop the Coyotes’ power play. Hopefully the Wings will be able to build on the positive aspects of the last game and fix the negative ones.

The goalies once again were Jimmy Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov. Abdelkader was in for the Red Wings for this game in place of Jason Williams. Mike Babcock made the switch because he wanted to add more of a physical presence after the hard hitting game one.

At about the halfway point of the first period Zetterberg was fighting for the puck with Hanzal in front the Red Wings net. Hanzal shot the puck and the rebound dropped down in front of the crease. Zetterberg reached for the puck but before he could get it Yandle came flying in out of nowhere and chipped it into the net giving the Coyotes the first lead of the game.

In the second period the Red Wings were on the power play. Kronwall brought the puck through the neutral zone and dropped it off for Zetterberg. He passed it to Filppula and continued toward the net. Filppula passed it back to Zetterberg and he put it in the back of the net. It was a great play that was perfectly executed. That tied the game at one.

Just a few seconds after that goal Phoenix took back the lead. Howard stopped the puck with his glove and tried to pass it off to Kronwall. He wasn’t expecting that. Kronwall spun around and tried to chip it away but it hit Wolski. He got control and shot quickly beating Howard just 38 seconds after the Red Wings’ goal.

Just a few second later the Wings tied it up again. They had got the puck in deep and into the corner. Holmstrom went after it and cycled it back for Franzen. He passed it to Datsyuk in the slot who shot it perfectly into the roof of the net. That tied the score at two each.

A couple of seconds later Lombardi got a lead pass from Doan on a give and go. Lombardi was in behind the defense. Miller tried to catch up to him but he was already beaten. Lombardi shot on Howard and beat him through the five hole. The Coyotes were back up by one at about the halfway point of the game.

A few seconds later, you guessed it, the Red Wings tied it up again. Bertuzzi got rocked at center ice but he still made the play. He chipped the puck ahead to Filppula who took it to the net. Filppula made a quick move and put the puck between Bryzgalov’s legs and into the net.  That was the fifth goal in 3:58 of game time.

At that point there was a very noticeable surge in the Red Wings’ energy level as they went all out trying to score again. Everybody was into it; they were really amped up. It seemed like the final minute of a one goal game except that it just kept going.

That pace continued for the rest of the second period but nobody scored any more goals.

Early in the third period Wolski was trying to get the puck out of his own end and Abdelkader took it away from him and turned it back toward the net. Bryzgalov tried to go for the poke check but Abdelkader avoided it and put the puck in the net making Mike Babcock look like a genius. Abdelkader was having a great game with a bunch of hits and a goal.

The Red Wings continued to play like they were lit on fire. The Coyotes were on their heels. Then at about the halfway point of the period the Wings got caught on a Phoenix breakaway with Lidstrom the only defender in place as Fiddler and Doan came in on the rush. Lidstrom tried to take away the pass but it got through underneath his stick and Doan one timed it into the net tying the game at four.

A few minutes later Zetterberg and Bertuzzi entered the zone. Zetterberg passed to Bertuzzi and went to the net. Bertuzzi shot from the side boards and the rebound dropped down in front of the other side of the net right in front of Zetterberg. Bryzgalov was out of position and Zetterberg popped it into the wide open side of the goal to take back the lead.

As the third period was winding down the Red Wings went on the power play. Fiddler fell heavily and hit the back of his head on the boards. He was quite shaken up. He left the ice and looked really wobbly walking down the tunnel. When the power play continued Stuart shot from the blue line. The puck hit the back boards where Filppula picked it up and circled with Bertuzzi in front screening and Zetterberg hanging around the net. Filppula shot one that Bryzgalov couldn’t get a good look at thanks to Bertuzzi. The puck went in the net and gave the Wings a two goal cushion for the first time in the game with about two minutes to go.

Zetterberg bagged an empty net goal in the final minute. That gave him his first career playoff hat trick. Way to go! Are there free curly fries during the playoffs? :-)

This game was incredible. The Red Wings didn’t look that great in the first period and the shots were even in that one. From the second period on the Wings looked amazing. They were playing very physical hockey. The hitting was fantastic. That really helped open the ice and allow for some excellent puck movement and crisp passing. The energy level was awesome. Great job, Red Wings!

This 7-4 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to a 1-1 tie.

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