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Detroit Red Wings vs Phoenix Coyotes Preview: Early Season Rematch

After seeing each other 10 days ago, the Coyotes and the Wings renew pleasantries in Glendale.

Gregory Shamus

Phoenix Coyotes

Tonight's game is the second of a back-to-back, and marks the second straight time the Yotes meet the Red Wings in a back-to-back situation. They beat Detroit 4-2 before going to Philly the next night and winning again. Hopefully Phoenix can play the same physical game they did against the Wings in Detroit and get a much needed two points.

Since beating Detroit on the 10th of this month, the Coyotes have gone 2-0-2. The last two games included an OT loss to the Ottawa Senators and a 3-2 shootout defeat to the Anaheim Ducks last night. The Coyotes penalty kill is getting back on track, as they were perfect against the Ducks, killing all four powerplay opportunities. Third period struggles have been the bugaboo for the Yotes in these last two games though, giving up late leads and losing precious points.

Detroit Red Wings

The Wings have been red hot (pun intended) since losing to Phoenix. They have won four in a row, all in regulation and ended the Colorado Avalanche's perfect start to the season with a 4-2 win on Thursday. More surprisingly, The Monster, Jonas Gustavsson got the wins in the last three while filling in for an injured Jimmy Howard. Howard has been nursing an injured hand, but is expected to make the start tonight.

The big guns have been carrying the wings during this streak. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Daniel Alfredsson have combined for 8 goals and 15 assists in those 4 games.

Keys to Winning

Win in the Circle. In the last meeting between these two teams, the Coyotes won 46-of-70 face-offs, good for 66 percent. Winning the draw keeps the puck out of Detroit's hand and doesn't allow them to establish puck possession. Without their vaunted puck control game, the Coyotes should be able to physically grind down the Wings and keep the pressure out of the defensive zone.

Discipline. The Coyotes need to stay out of the box and keep this game at even strength. In their current four-game win streak, the Detroit powerplay is 6-for-16, a 37.5 percent conversion rate. They are deadly with the man advantage and the Coyotes have to limit the chances that they give Detroit to get in that situation.

Finish Strong. The Coyotes could be on a five-game winning streak of their own if not for 3rd period breakdowns in their last two games. They have cost themselves two points early in this season and need to tighten up their play at the end of games. Tonight would be a great night to play a complete 60 minutes of hockey.

Who's Hot

Mike Ribeiro

#63 / Center / Phoenix Coyotes



Feb 10, 1980

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Mike Ribeiro 1 4 5 -1 4

Ribeiro has points in 5 straight games and scored a beautiful shootout goal last night to keep the Coyotes chances for the victory alive. Tonight would be a timely game for Mike to register his first multi-point game as a Coyote.

Pavel Datsyuk

#13 / Center / Detroit Red Wings



Jul 20, 1978

G A P +/- PIM
2013 - Pavel Datsyuk 4 6 10 7 0

Datsyuk is on fire over his last four games scoring 3 goals and adding 5 assists. You could also add Zetterberg, with four goals and three assists, or Daniel Alfredsson with a goal and seven assists to this list. Detroit's top players are cooking and Datsyuk and Zetterberg are proven Coyote killers. The Desert Dogs could be in trouble if these three are allowed to turn it up tonight.

Likely Starting Goalies

Thomas Greiss

#1 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Jan 29, 1986

2013 - Thomas Greiss 2 80 1 0 2 1.50 45 43 .956 0

With tonight being the second game of a back to back situation, expect the German netminder to make his first home start as a Coyote. He was spectacular in Philly and may need to be so again this evening. Smith may get the nod as well, so check back about a couple hours before puck drop.

Jimmy Howard

#35 / Goalie / Detroit Red Wings



Mar 26, 1984

2013 - Jimmy Howard 5 301 3 2 12 2.39 153 141 .922 0

Howard is healthy and expected to get the nod tonight after missing the last three games. The Coyotes did beat Howard in their matchup last week.

Team Rankings

Phoenix Coyotes


Detroit Red Wings

14th (2.75)
Goals For
14th (2.75)
23rd (2.88)
Goals Against
5th (2.75)
20th (16.7)
Power Play %
9th (23.1)
20th (80.6)
Penalty Kill %
14th (81.8)


The Coyotes enter tonight injury free and should be at full strength for the game.

Detroit will be without Patrick Eaves and Darren Helm, as both are on long term IR. They will also more than likely be playing tonight without their number one defenseman, Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall was ran into the boards by Cody McLeod of the Avalanche, suffering a laceration and a concussion. Jimmy Howard is coming off of a hand injury but is expected to start for the first time in 4 games.

Puck Drop

The game starts at 6:00 pm Arizona time at Arena. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and on the radio on KTAR 92.3.