Bryzgalov shuts down Wings
Series shifts back to Phoenix for Game 7
Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves and his teammates gave him a cushion by scoring three power-play goals as the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 in Game 6 of their opening-round series Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
Game 7 will be played Tuesday night in Phoenix.
"Bryz was excellent," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "That's what he's done for us all year. Any time you can play in a Game 7, it's a game you'll remember."
The Coyotes went three for five on the power play, with Mathieu Schneider, Radim Vrbata and Taylor Pyatt scoring with the man advantage. Lauri Korpikoski opened the scoring with a short-handed marker and Wojtek Wolski scored at even strength.
The Red Wings had a chance to eliminate the Coyotes with a win, and came out strong in front of a boisterous home crowd. They forced the Coyotes into taking three straight penalties to start the game, including a two-man advantage for 1:09.
But the Coyotes managed to score the only goal during that stretch on a Korpikoski wrist shot that beat Jimmy Howard at 4:10.
Detroit defenceman Brad Stuart nonchalantly carried the puck out of his end, Korpikoski snatched it and scored to spark the Coyotes.
"My fault," Stuart said.
"They won the special teams battle," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "That sucked the life out of our team."
Howard, a finalist for the Calder Trophy, gave up at least four goals for the third time in the series. He stopped 24 of 29 shots.
"No, I'm not concerned about him at all," Babcock said. "We're real comfortable with Howie. You can't win Game 7 until you get there."
Bryzgalov frustrates wings
The Red Wings outplayed the Coyotes for most of the first two periods, but were able to beat Bryzgalov only once, on a goal by Stuart. The Wings added another with the game out of reach, when Darren Helm scored at 16:29 of the third.
Stuart's goal came at 2:51 of the second, just 24 seconds after Schneider had given the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes were again without their captain Shane Doan, who hasn't played since he fell hard into the boards during Game 3.
Phoenix had struggled offensively in the past three games, and their power play seemed to suffer without Doan. Schneider's power-play marker snapped an 0-for-19 stretch.
"I don't want to say we solved it," Schneider said. "It worked for tonight."
The Coyotes haven't won a playoff series since 1987. Back then they were still the Winnipeg Jets.
In its history, Detroit has played in four Game 7s on the road, with a record of 1-3.