Coyotes can eliminate Wings in Game 7

By: Barry Daniels | Sunday, April 25, 2010

Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves in the Game 6 victory.

The Phoenix Coyotes are one win away from eliminating the Detroit Red Wings from postseason play. That's a shocking statement considering the Wings have participated in the last two Stanley Cup Finals.


Oddsmakers aren't too sure the Coyotes can pull off the upset, as they have installed the Red Wings as a slight 120 road favorite for Tuesday's Game 7, with the ‘total' set at five ‘over' (minus 120).

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Tuesday's game in Phoenix became necessary when the Coyotes staved off elimination themselves with a 5-2 victory in Sunday's Game 6 as a hefty 190 road underdogs. The combined seven goals skipped above the five-goal closing total, leaving the ‘over' 3-1-2 in the first six series matchups.

Special teams, which had not been a Coyotes' strength since Game 1 of this series when they notched three power play goals, were a big part of their Game 6 victory. Phoenix scored one short-handed goal and three times on the power play to help register the victory.

The power play goals were especially welcomed, as the Coyotes were in the midst of an 0-for-19 skid with the man advantage.

The Red Wings blew great chances to get off to a good start Sunday as Phoenix was called for three penalties in the first 4:42. Detroit had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:09, but couldn't capitalize.

Lauri Korpikoski scored a short-handed goal at just 4:10 of the first period to spark the Coyotes and give them a quick 1-0 lead. Mathieu Schneider snapped the Coyotes' power play drought with a goal early in the second for a 2-0 lead.

Radim Vrbata scored with the man advantage midway through the period to restore the two-goal edge.
Wojtek Wolski's even-strength goal put Phoenix ahead late in the second, 4-1.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves to register the win for the Coyotes, including 14 in the first period and 11 in the second. Jimmy Howard stopped just 24 of 29 shots for Detroit in a losing effort.

Phoenix went ahead 1-0 on its first shot Sunday. The Coyotes netted their fourth goal late in the second period on their 15th shot and a fifth on their 23rd.

Detroit's Brad Stuart scored 2:51 into the second - 24 seconds after Schneider put the Coyotes up 2-0 - to fire up the crowd, but the fans were quieted by Vrbata and Wolski's goals.

Phoenix ended any hopes the Red Wings had for a comeback when Taylor Pyatt scored a power-play goal 5:25 into the third.

Detroit's Darren Helm scored with 3:31 left, but the goal came much too late. The Red Wings missed opportunities, going 0-for-5 on the power play, and couldn't slow down a Coyotes team that went 3-for-6 with the man advantage.

The Coyotes, in the postseason for the first time since 2002, are 0-5 in the first round of the playoffs. The franchise hasn't advanced since 1987, when it was the Winnipeg Jets.

The Red Wings are in the postseason for the 19th straight time and are shooting for another deep run. Detroit has won nine series -including the 2008 Stanley Cup finals - since a first-round exit four years ago in coach Mike Babcock's first season.

The Coyotes scratched captain Shane Doan, keeping him out of the lineup for the third straight game because of a shoulder injury sustained at Detroit in Game 3. He is listed as "questionable."

This will be the Red Wings' third trip to the West Coast in this series, but they have already captured two games in Phoenix.

 

 
 
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