By Dave Vest
Looking to take a 3-2 lead, the Coyotes will play the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of their Western Conference playoff series tonight at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece with Game 6 set for Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
The Coyotes did not score a goal in Game 4 and are 0 for 14 on power plays since starting the series 3 for 3.
"We can do better stuff with the puck in the offensive zone," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't give ourselves enough opportunities (In Game 4), more from turnovers and giveaways, so we can do a lot better job there. But all through our game, I think we can be better, and we'll need to be better in Game 5 to give ourselves the best chance to win."
The Coyotes are hoping that injured captain Shane Doan
will be able to play but are preparing to play without him like they did in Game 4. Doan, who suffered an undisclosed injury in Game 3, skated briefly with teammates at Thursday's practice, but he didn't skate at the team's optional morning skate on Friday. Tippett on Friday said Doan would be a game-time decision.
"It's going to be a huge game, and I want to be ready," Doan said. "I waited a long time to have a chance to play in these (games) and I was thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying playing in them and loved every minute of being out on the ice and loved the hockey, so it's tough to watch."
Coyotes defensemam Mathieu Schneider will play tonight. Schneider did not play in the first four games of this series. (Click here
to listen to an interview with Schneider.)
The Red Wings are hoping rookie goalie Jimmy Howard will play as well as he did in Game 4 when he stopped all of Phoenix’s 29 shots to earn his first shutout in the NHL playoffs.
"They believe he had a stellar game, and he stole the game," Coyotes forward Wojtek Wolski
said. "I wouldn't go as far as saying that. We, in one period, had like 10 shots and missed the net 10 times. If you get five of those on net, there's rebounds, there's some other shots. He's played well, but we want to make sure we make it a little harder for him."
Neither team has been able to capture momentum in this series beyond one game.
"We can't look at what we did (in Game 4) and automatically think we've regained control of this series," Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg told the Detroit Free Press. "Everyone realizes that this will continue to be an extremely tough series. It's important for us now to build upon what we did in (in Game 4)… and play an inspired game (tonight)."