While Detroit is on the road looking to take a 3-0 lead, the Montreal Canadiens are home looking to go up 3-0 against the Bruins.
The Phoenix Coyotes will be fighting for their playoff lives when they host the powerful Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. The Coyotes trail this best-of-seven series 2-0.
The puck will drop from Jobing.com Arena at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and be broadcast on Versus. Keep checking the Don Best odds screen for the latest money line and total information.
Detroit won the home opener last Wednesday 4-2 as 159 favorites. The Coyotes led 1-0 after the first period, but squandered several power play opportunities. They went 0-for-6 on the night in that category, ranking just 23rd in the regular season (15.9 percent conversion).
Detroit didn’t need any comebacks in Game 2 on Saturday. A 4-0 explosion by early in the second period held up for a 4-3 win. Phoenix showed grit by coming back with three power play goals, but the Red Wings held on as 166 ‘chalk.’
Both playoff games went ‘over’ the 5 ½-goal total. The ‘over’ is now 8-1 in Detroit’s last nine playoff games.
Sixth-seed Phoenix (43-26-13 for 99 points in the regular season) needs to build on the late momentum from last game. Winger Shane Doan had two goals and defenseman Keith Yandle had three assists. They are the team’s leading scorers for the year and will need to continue to step up.
The Coyotes are 21-13-7 at home this year, but did play better down the stretch there (11-3-2). Their offense wasn’t explosive either home (2.80) or away (2.71) in the regular season and they prefer a lower scoring game against the high-flying Red Wings.
The ‘under’ went 6-2 in Phoenix’ last eight home games with goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov allowing a total of 14 goals.
Phoenix does have a couple of injuries. Defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Derek Morris are listed as questionable and doubtful respectively with upper body ailments. Morris hasn’t played in this series and Jovanovski got hurt last game.
Third-seed Detroit (47-25-10, 104 points in the regular season) has some of the NHL’s elite players and it’s showed this series. Pavel Datsyuk has been spectacular with two goals and three assists. Johan Franzen got shutout last game, but had a goal and an assist in Game 1.
Those guys are important with leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg out the first two games (knee). He hasn’t played since April 6 and is doubtful for Monday. That’s the only significant injury for Detroit.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard (37-17-5, 2.79 GAA in the regular season) has allowed five goals on 61 shots the first two games.
The Red Wings have been an excellent road team at 26-11-4, second-best in the NHL behind Vancouver. They split the two games at Phoenix this year, 5-4 loss in March and 2-1 win in October. Both games went into the extra session.
Detroit and Phoenix met in an opening round series last year. Phoenix had home ice and won the first game 3-2. However, the Red Wings took the final three in the desert by a combined score of 17-6, including a 6-1 blowout in a decisive Game 7.
Detroit has struggled historically away in Game 3’s after going up 2-0 in the playoffs. It’s just 3-8 in those situations, including the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals when it lost Game 3 (and the series) to Pittsburgh.
Game 4 of this series will be Wednesday night and will shift back to Motown for a Game 5 on Friday (if necessary).