Phoenix shows some fight, still in big hole with Detroit up 4-1 after two periods
The first period talking points cropped up again early in the second, as Ilya Bryzgalov allowed a fourth goal thanks to more brilliant play by Pavel Datsyuk. The Russian wonder earned his third assist and fourth point of the game, putting him one point behind the Detroit Red Wings’ single game points record with at least 20 minutes remaining.
As bad as things looked when the team was down 4-0, Bryzgalov made a few difficult saves to avoid being pulled from the contest and the Phoenix Coyotes finally showed some life in the second period.
Detroit 4, Phoenix 1 through two periods; Red Wings lead series 1-0
Radim Vrbata scored the Coyotes one goal, but they’ll need an uncharacteristically impressive third period output to get back into this game.
While Datsyuk will get the much-deserved lion share of the attention, Tomas Holmstrom is producing an impressive game too. He has two assists in this contest and factored heavily into Brian Rafalski’s first period power-play goal.
Johan Franzen earned star treatment for his toughness, rather than his scoring. He needed at least 23 stitches to clean up the mess that resulted from Shane Doan’s hit, leaving his face a hockey-worthy mess. It’s unclear how severe the injury is, but he won’t let it keep him off the ice ... even in a game that seems as one-sided as this one.
Here’s video of the crowd reaction at Joe Louis Arena when Franzen returned to the game.
On paper, the third period seems like a mere formality, but the post-lockout era is rife with surprising comebacks. When you consider how many penalties are being called (26 PIM combined through the first two periods), the ‘Yotes shouldn’t just roll over in the final frame.