Final Score: Detroit 4, Phoenix 0
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Jimmy Howard stopped all 34 shots for his fourth shutout of the year and it came at a big time as Detroit took a 4-0 win over Phoenix.
Detroit came into the game three points out of a playoff spot, but now has 50 points and sits just one back of Columbus and Minnesota for a spot in the Western Conference postseason.
"This was a huge game for us tonight," said Howard. "Knowing where we were in the standings and coming off a disappointing road trip, we knew we needed these two points if we're going to get in."
Minnesota and Detroit both have three games to play and Columbus has two left on its schedule.
Phoenix, meanwhile, is in dire straits with its playoff hopes hanging by a thread. The team has 46 points with three games to play.
"Things don't look like they're in our favor right now," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "But there's no quit in this group, we'll come home and take it one game at a time."
Johan Franzen scored twice, Damien Brunner posted a goal and an assist while Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, who came into the game having dropped five of their last six. Henrik Zetterberg gave three assists on the night.
Mike Smith gave up three goals on 22 shots for the Coyotes, who have lost four of their past five games.
Detroit got the only goal it needed 2:37 in as a right point shot from Brunner was re-directed in by Franzen in the slot for a power-play goal.
Skating on the power play again late in the opening period, Detroit took a 2-0 lead when Brunner finished off a Zetterberg pass for his 12th goal of the year with 35.4 seconds to play.
The Red Wings power play continued to click as the team took a 3-0 lead when Zetterberg set up Filppula for a shot from the low right side that beat Smith with 3:51 to play in the second.
Franzen finished off the win with an empty-net goal with just 1:22 to play.
Howard has 15 shutouts in his career ... Detroit's power play was 3-for-5 in the game while Phoenix went 0-for-4 ... The Red Wings took two of the three games against the Coyotes this season ... Detroit hosts Los Angeles on Wednesday ... Phoenix hosts San Jose on Wednesday.
04/22 23:54:28 ET
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