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Coyotes beat Red Wings 4-2, take 2-1 series lead

NBC Playoff Coverage

Phoenix Coyotes 4, Red Wings 2, Coyotes lead series 2-1

Shane Doan, Darren Helm

Phoenix Coyotes’ Shane Doan (19) checks Detroit Red Wings’ Darren Helm into the boards in the first period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Detroit Red Wings Friday, April 16, 2010, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


(Obviously, this photo isn’t from today’s game but it’s so worth it. Look at the women’s facial expressions. That’s classic, folks.)

Perhaps Sami Lepisto’s goal 29 seconds into the first period symbolized what the Phoenix Coyotes are and the Detroit Red Wings are not: quick. At least, at times, it seemed that way in this afternoon’s Game 3 tilt.
I don’t know if it’s a speed disadvantage, an afternoon of sleepy defense or some other malady, but any pretense of Phoenix not belonging with the Red Wings can be dropped. They took a 2-1 lead in the series and regained home ice advantage as well.

Both Ilya Bryzgalov and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves in the game, although Howard might hear a little bit more about his performance since Cup-winning goalie Chris Osgood is his big-named backup. Is that fair? Not really, but how often are goalie controversies steeped in logic rather than desperation?

Petr Prucha and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and an assist in the game while Wojtek Wolski added a nice backhand goal for the Coyotes. Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen scored a goal each for the Red Wings. Detroit must now win three out of four games against a hungry Coyotes team.