Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 3 (4/18/10)

With the series tied at one apiece, the Coyotes rolled into Detroit this afternoon to face the Red Wings in game three. Howard and Bryzgalov were the goalies once again today.

It only took about 30 second for the Coyotes to draw first blood. The Red Wings turned the puck over and the Coyotes got it in deep. They started throwing it at the net, Howard got turned around and everybody was scrambling. Datsyuk swept the puck away from the net to save a goal but it ended up in the slot where Lepisto pounced on it and scored to make it one nothing Coyotes.

Later in the first period Detroit had the first power play of the game. It was a very good power play. The way they were able to move puck and create scoring chances was just incredible. It looked like men against boys. As the power play continued, a rebound came to Filppula and he put it in the net to tie the game at one.

Shane Doan tripped over Jimmy Howard early in the second period and went hard into the boards shoulder first. He left the game at that point and did not return.

Also in the second period Rafalski left with a lower back problem but later returned.

The Coyotes started buzzing toward the end of the second period. Lombardi shot and Howard made the first stop but the rebound came out and Wolski shot again. That one beat Howard to make it two to one just a few seconds before the end of the period.

At about the halfway point of the third period, Vrbata won a faceoff in his own end and started up ice. He passed it to Prucha who angled it off the boards back to Vrbata and went to the net. Vrbata passed it back to Prucha close to the slot. Prucha made a nice move around Jimmy Howard and scored. That gave the Coyotes a two goal lead with about 11 minutes to go.

A few minutes later, after an offensive zone faceoff, the Wings got the puck behind the net and Zetterberg fought to push it ahead to Bertuzzi. He passed it back to Franzen who fired an absolute pinpoint shot that somehow fit through the short side between Bryzgalov and the post to make it a one goal game. What a sniper!

A few minutes after that, the Coyotes scored again. The Red Wings had just made a defensive change and Vrbata ended up with more space than he should have had. He fired a shot that beat Howard cleanly and gave the Coyotes a two goal lead again. That was one that Howard would definitely want back. There was about 8 minutes to go at that point.

Late in the third Bertuzzi got the puck into the net but it was after the whistle, or at least the intent to blow the whistle. On the replay it was pretty clear that the puck was covered before Bertuzzi shoved it (and Bryzgalov) into the net, so I think this was a fair call.

The Wings pulled the goalie in the final few minutes. Then with about 30 seconds left Aucoin flipped the puck over the glass so the Wings also had a power play. Then Jovanovski was called for roughing but the whistle didn’t blow until there was about 5 seconds left. Time ran out before Detroit could score so the Wings lost four to two.

The Red Wings played okay in this game. They were great at times and not so great at other times. The Wings weren’t as good as they were in game two. I’m not sure what the difference was but they’ll have to play a lot better on Tuesday.

This 4-2 loss brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to 1-2 Coyotes.

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