Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Coyotes need 5-on-5 success

Categories: DET vs. PHO, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes

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Coyotes forward Shane Doan (19) has found things difficult while playing five-on-five against the Detroit Red Wings. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press) Coyotes forward Shane Doan (19) has found things difficult while playing five-on-five against the Detroit Red Wings. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

While the Phoenix's power-play has been the story of the series for the three goals it scored to get the team back into Game 2, and for its first-period failures in Game 1, the Coyotes are of the belief that if they are going to rally from a 2-0 deficit and come back against the Detroit Red Wings in their Western Conference quarter-final series, it's going to take better five-on-five play.

"We haven't played as well as we want to five-on-five, Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "I think we have one five-on-five goal in two games (by Kyle Turris). That came early in Game 1 and we haven't done much since."

We have to generate more off the forecheck, more off the rush, and make it harder for them to do what they like to do. We are pretty confident as a group that we can compete and we can play with them, we just need to do it for a full 60 minutes.  We haven't put it together for a full 60 minutes.

"We need guys in our locker room to step up, make plays and be hard to play against. They have guys in their locker room that are getting that job done."

Injury updates

None of the walking wounded will play Monday night (CBC,, 10:30 p.m. ET) in Game 3 of the series at Arena. Detroit centre Henrik Zetterberg (knee sprain) and Phoenix defenceman Derek Morris (upper-body injury) have yet to perform in the first two games. Morris did not participate in Monday's morning skate.

Zetterberg did skate Monday and indicated people shouldn't be swayed by video footage shown Saturday of his knee buckling while on the ice.

"They didn't show when I came back and skated for 30 more minutes, so I wasn't really concerned," he said.

Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski, who left Game 2 with an upper-body injury, is a go for Game 3. Johan Franzen, who has 23 stitches in his face after falling into the boards when hit by Doan in Game 2 skated briefly in the morning wearing a visor before leaving the ice, but Wings coach Mike Babcock said Franzen would play.

"We're lucky he's the Mule and he should be fine," Babcock said.

Osgood status

Zetterberg isn't the only player on Detroit's injury list. Goaltender Chris Osgood, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, has been idle since early January following sports hernia surgery, and there's no timetable as to when he might return. Journeyman Joey MacDonald has been suiting up as back-up to Jimmy Howard.

"I don't know," was Osgood's assessment of his current physical status. "I don't know what's going to happen."

Even if he doesn't get back in time for the playoffs, Osgood, 38, insisted he'd be back next season for sure.

"I'm coming back next year," he said. "But I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about getting ready to play if they need me to play.''

The Wings believe that time will come later, not sooner.

"You can't be out three months and have two practices and come in and be Chris Osgood, it's impossible," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said.

"It says Osgood on the back of his jersey but it's not Osgood.  You can't practice three times and say, 'I'm ready to play in the National Hockey League.' If it was that easy it wouldn't be much of a league.''

History lesson

The future doesn't bode well for the Coyotes, if their playoff past is any indication. The Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise is 0-10 all-time when trailing 2-0 in a Stanley Cup series. In five of those series, the club has been swept, including a trio of best-of-five sets. Only once were the Coyotes able to extend a series to seven games after losing the first two games, a 1997 opening-round loss to Anaheim.

"We know going down 2-0, it's tough to come back from, but the next game can turn it around for us and we just have to keep it in terms of winning one game, Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle said.

Detroit, meanwhile, is 36-7 when taking the first two games of a playoff set. The Wings had won nine straight in that scenario before dropping the 2009 final to the Pittsburgh Penguins.