Tonight it was game three of Detroit’s first round series against the Phoenix Coyotes. The goalies were Bryzgalov and Howard. The rest of the lineups were also unchanged from game two.
This game picked up right where game two left off; with the Red Wings completely in charge. Detroit jumped to early lead again tonight. Salei scored with a slapper from the point and then Miller tipped in a point shot from Kronwall. The Coyotes were two goals down before the game was three minutes old. That pretty well took the crowd out of it and it also put the Coyotes off their game. They were playing catch up for the rest of the night.
Filppula scored early in the second period and Franzen scored early in third. They were both great shots but Bryzgalov is taking a lot of heat for not being good enough in this series. Howard, on the other hand, was excellent once again last night.
On the Phoenix side of the score sheet, they had had power play goals from Schlemko and Whitney. They can build on the fact that they outplayed Detroit on specialty teams. The Wings were 0 for 4 on the power play and Phoenix was 2 for 3. There were some very weak penalties called in this game. The roughing call on Hanzal early in the second period was particularly ridiculous. I don’t understand what the ref was thinking making that call.
They Coyotes were pretty ineffective against the Wings. They did a pretty good job of controlling Datsyuk tonight but as a group the Wings just completely rolled over them. I don’t know if the Wings are just that much better or if maybe the off-ice issues are interfering with the focus of the Coyotes. Not to take anything for granted, but at this point my biggest concern is that the Red Wings will be over confident heading in to round two where they’re sure to face much stronger resistance.
But for now it’s time to stay focused on game four which will be Wednesday night in Phoenix. The Red Wings will try to keep it rolling and close out this series early with a sweep.
This 2-4 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to 3-0 Red Wings.