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COYOTES RELYING ON SCHNEIDER, LANG AT CRUNCH TIME

Monday, 04.26.2010 / 7:25 PM / Features
By Anthony Perez
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes scored three power-play goals in Sunday’s 5-2 victory in Game 6 at Detroit. Veterans Mathieu Schneider and Robert Lang were right in the middle of things.

In the second period, Schneider gave Phoenix a 2-0 lead when he scored a power-play goal with a shot from the point. Later in the period, the Coyotes were again on the power play and Robert Lang helped make the score 3-1 when he threaded a pass to Radim Vrbata in traffic and Vrbata was able to beat goaltender Jimmy Howard for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Mathieu Schneider
Teaming up is nothing new for Schneider and Lang, who were teammates together in Detroit a few seasons ago. Last season they were united again in Montreal.

Schneider and Lang like being teammates.

“We joked about it,” Schneider told the Detroit News. “For us, it’s so much fun. We’ve really enjoyed it. Not just coming back here (to Detroit), but we’ve been teammates for a long time.”

As far as the “must-win” situation the Coyotes faced in Game 6 and will do so again in Game 7, Lang said he relishes situations like this.

“It’s fun,” said Lang, who has notched 46 points in 90 NHL playoff games. “It’s live or die. You pretty much have nothing to save it for. You’re going all out and doing your best because it could be the last game of the season. In a way it’s really thrilling, emotional and very easy to get up for.”

Robert Lang
Despite the fact that the NHL has seen an influx of young stars in recent years, Lang says that veterans like him and Schneider can still help teams like the Coyotes.

“Even though a lot of young guys are coming in the league now, the veteran players still have something to offer,” Lang said. “I think every age brings something, and we have a good mix here, so let’s just enjoy the ride and we’ll see what comes out of it.”

Regarding Phoenix’s power play, Schneider said work still needs to be done.

“It’s one game (and) I don’t want to say we solved it,” Schneider said. “I thought the fundamentals were there on the power play. If you look at the way we moved it, we had some really good puck movement and got some good shots.”

Schneider has notched 54 points in 113 NHL playoff games.
 
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