Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said five or six guys became ill during the day including the scheduled starting goalie, Jason LaBarbera. Tippett added that players were vomiting before the game and they were unsure if any of the players would not be able to play.
"That's the first game I think I ever coached with two buckets beside me," Tippett said.
The Coyotes rallied anyway and were able to pick up two valuable points as they ended the night in 11th place, two points behind a playoff spot. "That to me is one of the more amazing wins...I've been around," Tippett said.
As "amazing" as it turned out to be in the end, the Coyotes (illness unbeknownst to the media and fans at the time) did not have a good start to the game.
A poor offensive zone penalty by Rob Klinkhammer gave Detroit a power play less than one minute into the game. Despite killing (at the time) 20 of the previous 22 penalties, the Coyotes could not stop the powerful Red Wings man-advantage. Valtteri Filppula scored the power play goal just 1:56 into the first period, and forced Phoenix to chase the game.
Phoenix would respond with a three goal second period as they would bury the Red Wings in the middle period. First, they tied the game 1:47 into the period when Michael Stone slapped a point shot past a screened Jimmy Howard. Recent call-up Chris Conner gave the Coyotes their first lead of the game on a wonderful wrist shot. (One Five for Howling writer may have seen something like this coming before the game). The Yotes took a two goal lead after Shane Doan sniped a breakaway, five-hole, past Howard. A break-out pass by Keith Yandle coupled with a perfectly placed pass by Martin Hanzal, led to Phoenix's third goal of the night.
A seemingly uneventful third period got very interesting during the final two minutes of the game. With Howard pulled and Boedker in the box, the Red Wings pulled with in one goal as Daniel Cleary scored on the six-on-four power play. With the Coyotes seemingly on their heels, Martin Hanzal cleared the puck into the empty net with 1.4 seconds remaining.
- Chris Connor made his Coyotes debut and scored a goal tonight.
- Phoenix improved to 11-0-1 this season (109-4-5 under Tippett) when leading after two periods.
- Potential Coyotes buyer George Gosbee was reportedly in attendance.
- Coyotes had 20 shots on goal in the second period, which was the most in any period since Feb. 2009.
- David Schlemko left the game in the first period with an illness.
- Attendance: 16,623
Five For Winning:
1. Score first. Scoring first seems to be a good way to win. Hopefully they can continue that trend. The Coyotes were unable to score first as they allowed a Detroit power play goal less than two minutes into the game.
2. Special teams. The Coyotes penalty kill has become impressive once again as they stopped the Kings' power play unit from scoring during their three opportunities. Now the power play unit needs to find its legs. Both of Detroit's goals came on the power play but the PK unit had to kill off four others to remain in the game.
3. Discipline. Thankfully this has become less of a problem but as we saw in the loss to the Red Wings last time, they are a deadly team with the man advantage, so the Coyotes need to stay out of the box as much as possible. Phoenix took seven total penalties and put the Wings on the PP six times. Tippett believed that some of the calls were "iffy," but there were still too many penalties total.
4. Protect the lead. If the Coyotes do manage to find themselves up on the Red Wings it is important that they protect that lead and do not allow Detroit to come back. This doesn't mean they should let up and stay defensive, more they should keep pressing and build off any lead they get. Once the Coyotes took the 2-1 lead, they would never relinquish it.
5. Everyone step up. With the Coyotes trading off some players it has made spots available for new players to step up into. The Portland guys should look to do something impressive to prove their worth. The Portland guys did very well as Chris Brown, Johnson and Conner all had very good games.
Our Three Stars Of The Game
1. Chris Conner: Scored a goal and was +2. He created several scoring chances in the game and nearly scored another goal on three different occasions.
2. Chad Johnson: Stopped 34-36 shots including all 28 shots at even strength. Not bad for a guy who woke up this morning not knowing he would play.
3. Mikkel Boedker: Two assists, a +3, and an all-around solid night for the Danish forward.
The Coyotes play the final game of their three game home stand on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. as they hope to have their first three-game winning streak of the season. The first 10,000 fans will receive a free Coyotes hat.