Red Wings take 2-0 series lead over Phoenix

The Detroit Red Wings rode the momentum of a powerful start to take a a 2-0 lead in their series with Phoenix, surviving a Coyotes rally to win 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: Post-Game reaction from the Red Wings locker room in the player to the left.

In one of his best offensive performances, Pavel Datsyuk led Detroit with a goal and three assists, including a between-the-legs shot that left fans shaking their heads in amazement.

Less than ten minutes into the game, Red Wings forward Johan Franzen was checked face-first into the boards by Shane Doan and Eric Belanger. After lying on the ice for a moment, he was assisted by his teammates to the locker room, where he received 21 stitches to his nose and forehead.

Franzen returned to the ice just before the 10-minute mark of the second period to a roar from the Joe Louis Arena crowd and a chant of, "Franzen, Franzen, Franzen."

While he was being stitched up, the Red Wings unleashed their offensive firepower on the Coyotes, scoring four unanswered goals.

After Martin Hanzal was called for a double-minor penalty at the 9:59 mark of the first period, Detroit capitalized on the man-advantage with Datsyuk scoring the game's first goal.

Five minutes later, Brian Rafalski scored another power play goal, firing a shot from the point through a sea of legs in front of the net. It was Rafalski's second goal of the playoffs.

A minute before the first period ended, Datsyuk mesmerized the crowd with a signature highlight play, flipping the puck between his legs on net, and while the shot missed, the rebound caromed to Darren Helm, who beat Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov high to make it 3-0.

Just over a minute into the second period, Tomas Holmstrom made it 4-0 by deflecting a shot from Valtteri Filppula backhanded past Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes didn't go away, answering with a goal from Radim Vrbata at the 7:02 mark of the second period.

The Red Wings took some ill-advised penalties in the third period, the first of which led to a goal from Shane Doan, who capitalized on a fortunate rebound 5:49 into the period, shrinking the Red Wings lead to 4-2.

Back-to-back penalties on Johan Franzen and Darren Helm gave Phoenix a two-man advantage 6:47 into the third. Doan again capitalized on the power play, one-timing a shot from the point through the legs of Howard to make it 4-3 with 11:23 to play in regulation.

From there, goaltender Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings closed the door, holding off the Coyotes to seal a 4-3 win.

Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night, April 18 at 10:30pm in Glendale, AZ.
 

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