By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will attempt to even their best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinals series with the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday when the teams play Game 2 at Joe Louis Arena. The puck drops at 10 a.m. (Arizona time).
Detroit beat Phoenix, 4-2, in Game 1 on Wednesday.
The Coyotes failed to score on six power plays in Game 1 and gave the puck away 10 times.
“You can tell our guys were a little anxious,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tipettt said. “We told our guys (to) just go out and calm down, make the plays you normally make and things will work out a lot better than they did in Game 1.”
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
, who allowed four goals on 36 shots in Game 1, will be back between the pipes in Game 2. Bryzgalov has won just one of his past five decisions dating to the end of the regular season.
"We need him to respond well," Tippett said. "I think he was like the rest of our group - probably not as sharp as he wanted to be (in Game 1). I think he'll come back with a very strong game."
In addition to oustcoring the Coyotes, the Red Wings also out-hit Phoenix, 33-28, in Game 1. That stat didn’t sit well with Tippett.
"I think they had eight players with three-plus hits in the game," Tippett said. "We had two. That's not enough players on our side that were physically involved in the game. We'll have to be better in that area."
Tippett is hoping his players will follow captain Shane Doan’s lead when it comes to throwing their bodies around. Doan had a game-high eight hits on Wednesday.
"I like Doan physical, because that's who he is," Tippett said. "When he's a bull out there, that's when he's at his best. When he's a bull in a china shop, that's even better than just being a bull."
The Coyotes will likely play without defenseman Derek Morris
once again. Morris missed Game 1 because of an upper-body injury. He is considered day-to-day. Defenseman David Schlemko
could replace Morris in the lineup again or Tippett could opt to use rookie Oliver Ekman-Larsson
instead of Schlemko.
Phoenix is aware few teams rally from 0-2 deficits in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
|Photo by Getty Images.
"We have to win a game in this building," Coyotes center Vernon Fiddler
said. "We came here and realistically, you look at a split as maybe a good thing. We're going to go after that second game. That's no secret. We have to be much better and more physical, but I expect us to be much better the next game."
Forward Radim Vrbata
“We know what we did right and what we did wrong,” Vrbata said. “We have to learn from it. We need to relax, if we start forcing plays or start to squeeze our sticks, that's not going to work. I think you have to relax.”
The Red Wings will focus on cutting down on infractions.
"We can't take the penalties, especially the stick penalties," Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock said. "… I mean, they told us before (the game) how it was going to be and we didn't handle it the right way."
Detroit again will play minus left wing Henrik Zetterberg, who is nursing a knee injury. Zetterberg skated before Friday’s practice but Babcock ruled him out of Game 2 a few hours later.
Jimmy Howard, who stopped 26 of 28 shots in Game 1, will start in Detroit's net in Game 2.