NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 28th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (2-3-3) at Detroit Red Wings (5-1-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings have been playing great hockey to
start the 2010-11 season and will aim for a fourth straight victory tonight
when they welcome the struggling Phoenix Coyotes for a battle at Joe Louis
Tonight's game marks the first in Detroit between the Red Wings and Coyotes
since Game 6 of last year's Western Conference quarterfinal's series, which
Phoenix won by a 5-2 score. However, Detroit was able to win Game 7 on the
road, ending Phoenix's 2010 playoff run with a 6-1 rout.
The Red Wings visited the Coyotes in Phoenix on Oct. 16 and recorded a 2-1
overtime win on Niklas Kronwall's goal with 18 seconds left in the extra
session. Detroit has points in each of its last seven regular-season meetings
with the Coyotes, going 5-0-2. Phoenix has just three wins in its last 13
regular-season trips to the Motor City.
Detroit has just one regulation loss in seven games (5-1-1) this season and
picked up its third straight victory with a dramatic 5-4 win over visiting
Anaheim on Saturday. Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winner with 11.4 seconds
remaining in regulation, as the Red Wings snuck past the Ducks, 5-4, at Joe
With time winding down, Datsyuk controlled the puck at the left circle. He
made a move past an Anaheim player before firing a wrister past Curtis
Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and two assists for the Red Wings, who also
got goals from Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom. Jimmy Howard made 21 saves
to improve to 4-0-1 on the year.
"We needed the points and we got them," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
"I thought we played good in the first period, we stood around for the first
10 minutes of the second and let them get back into it. You can't do that in
this league, but we got lucky there."
Detroit is playing the third test of a four-game homestand tonight and has yet
to lose in regulation at the Joe this year, going 3-0-1.
The Coyotes have won just twice in eight contests (2-3-3) this year and have
dropped three in a row since their last victory against Los Angeles on Oct.
21. Phoenix lost in overtime in its first two setbacks during this skid, but
was unable to record a point in Tuesday's blowout loss in Ottawa. Alex Kovalev
scored twice and added an assist to lead the Senators to the easy 5-2 win.
Sami Lepisto and Keith Yandle scored for the Coyotes and Jason LaBarbera was
pulled from just his second start of the year. LaBarbera allowed three goals
on 20 shots before getting yanked after one period in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov,
who stopped 14-of-16 shots the rest of the way.
"Our consistency hasn't been what it needs to be. So it's certainly something
that has to be addressed," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippet said.
Phoenix, which is completing a three-game road trip today, is 1-2-1 as the
visiting team this year.
10/28 11:14:29 ET