Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Datsyuk the 'disgusting' in Game 2

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

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The Phoenix Coyotes have had no answer for Detrot's Pavel Datsyuk, who has five points through two games of the Western playoff series. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press) The Phoenix Coyotes have had no answer for Detrot's Pavel Datsyuk, who has five points through two games of the Western playoff series. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

For the second straight game, the Detroit Red Wings overcame themselves to beat the Phoenix Coyotes. And for the second straight game, Detroit centre Pavel Datsyuk was the star of the show.

Datsyuk put on a dominating performance, scoring once and setting up three other goals as the Wings rolled to a 4-0 led and survived some third-period penalty trouble to cling to a 4-3 victory. Detroit claimed a 2-0 lead in this Western Conference quarter-final series.

The four points were a career playoff high for Datsyuk and one shy of the club single-game playoff mark shared by Hall of Famers Norm Ullman and Steve Yzerman.

"It's ridiculous, isn't it?," Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said of Datsyuk's performance. "He's a special player and I'm just thankful he's on my side."

Cue The Video

Datsyuk opened the scoring, but his highlight-reel play of the night came on Detroit's third goal. Breaking into the clear, Datsyuk stickhandled between his legs and fired a shot at Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov sprawled to pad it away, but Darren Helm fired home the rebound.

"It was a stupid thing," Datsyuk said, chastising himself for the move. "Maybe fans are cheering too much, and I am maybe trying to do too much. It worked, though. Now it's more confidence. Maybe next time, I try more easy way to score."

Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom doubted many in the game would even dare such a scoring attempt. Maybe a handful of guys, Lidstrom said. Not more than that.

We see him in practice all of the time, trying different things. He's not shy to try them in games, either. He's skating with a lot of confidence, and it's hard to defend him when he's playing like that.

The Coyotes weren't about to debate that notion.

"The guy is disgusting," Phoenix defenceman Keith Yandle said in admiration."It is fun to watch him, but not fun to play against him."

Doan's Damage

He may be Public Enemy No. 1 in Detroit after his first-period hit on Johan Franzen left the Detroit winger bloodied and in need of repair, but Phoenix captain Shane Doan's performance nearly lifted his team back into a game they looked to have lost in the first period.

Doan figured in all three Coyotes goals, scoring twice, each goal coming on power plays.

"He's the type of player and guy who is not going to let us quit," Yandle said. "He's going to put us on his back to make sure we don't quit."

Just Call Him Franzenstein

After absorbing Doan's first-period bodycheck, Franzen fell awkwardly into the boards and required a reported 21 stitches to repair damage to his face and nose. Franzen, who returned to action late in the second period, was a bloody mess, with stitches running inside each eyebrow, gauze stuffed in his nose and a gash through his lip.

"Big leadership," Datsyuk said of Franzen returning to the ice. "A pretty big help for us when he came back.

"His face look bad, shaped like a mess. He comes back and he plays big for us in second half of game."

Neither team felt the Doan hit called for a penalty.

"Franzen toe picked and Doaner kind of bumped him," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "There's no penalty."

Regardless, Franzen returned to the ice with a burr under his saddle and at one point, got into a facewashing exchange with Doan.

"He came back with a grudge," Lidstrom said of Franzen.

Jovo Out

Phoenix defenceman Ed Jovanovski left the game late in the second period after he was slammed into the boards by Detroit's Darren Helm, who was assessed a boarding minor.

He's day-to-day with an upper-body injury, was all Coyotes coach Dave Tippett would say.

Jovanovski recently returned from a fractured orbital bone and is playing while wearing a full facemask.

Big Plus

With a plus-2 performance Saturday, Lidstrom improved to plus-55 in his playoff career, and surpassed former Colorado Avalanche star Peter Forsberg (plus-54) as the all-time leader in Stanley Cup play.

"Wow," Lidstrom said. "I wasn't aware of that."

Wings defenceman Brian Rafalski (plus-45) sits third on the list.