I said earlier , heck everyone said ti, that the Coyotes needed to get back to their style of play and dictate how this game was going to be played. They did it right off the bat and while there was a time that the Coyotes let Detroit pile on the shots, they never controlled the game in really any way.
The Coyotes started of pressing into the Detroit zone off the faceoff and Sami Lepisto scored just :29 seconds in putting in a rebound off of a Petr Prucha shot. Prucha took a shot, got a rebound, shot again and still managed to keep going to generate the chance. It caught Detroit completely off guard and took the crowd out of the game for a large portion of the period. Detroit would tie things up later in the period when Valtteri Filppula wristed in a chance that bounced around and found it's way past Ilya Bryzgalov. THe Coyotes continued to lock things down defensivly though and it ended 1-1 at the end of the first.
The second was all Coyotes all the time. The Wings got some shots on Bryzgalov, but couldn't get a rhythm going at all. There was a scary moment when Shane Doan tripped over Jimmy Howard and then fell awkwardly into the boards. He left the game on his own feet, but was obviously in pain and went back to the dressing room. He wouldn't return to the game though and the coaching staff said he would be reevaluated tomorrow to see if he could play on Tuesday. The Coyotes continued to pressure the Red Wings even with the Captain out. They slowed the pace of the game until, with just 32 seconds left in the period, Wojtek Wolski put in a rebound from the left slot over Howard to retake the lead.
The third was just more of the same, but the Detroit defense just kept looking worse and worse. That is until Petr Prucha had possibly the prettiest goal of these playoffs. After technically losing a defensive zone faceoff Prucha and Radim Vrbata pressed the blue line to gain control of the puck and were off to the races. Prucha entered the zone and was about to get cut off. He banked the puck off the boards to the trailing Vrbata. Vrbata thne sent it back to Prucha as he streaked to the front of the net. Petr went forehand-backhand and just around Howard's skate to go up 3-1. Less than two minutes later the Wings closed the lead back to one goal as Johan Franzen lifted one over Bryz's shoulder. Once again down to a one goal lead the Coyotes would catch the Wings on a bad change just moments later. Radim Vrbata took a slapshot from the circle and Howard fanned on the save. 4-2 Coyotes. That would be the final score even though the Wings pressed in the final minutes. The Coyotes took a couple penalties, but were able to hold the Wings off to take control of the Series again, now leading the series 2-1.
What Wings fans will be crying about until Tuesday: Two "disallowed" goals. Both were similar in that Bryzgalov had made the save and was holding the puck. Then you hear the whistle as the Red Wing players continue to hack away. One might have been under the intent to blow rule, but the other was, whistle, then hack, then in.
Player of the game:
#16 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes
Sep 14, 1982
No doubt. He created the first goal by being aggressive and then set up his own with Vrbata's help. 1-1-2 on the night and playing very well on a resurgent Czech line.