By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will try to use their unique WhiteOut atmosphere to wrestle momentum away from the Detroit Red Wings tonight in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix will enter the game trailing the series two games to none, but they are hoping to use the energy provided by their home crowd to their advantage.
“It’s awesome,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan
said of the WhiteOut. “It’s one of the most enjoyable experiences as a player because the emotion is so high and the energy is so high. Hockey is an emotional game and when you get to add that much emotion from a crowd it brings out even better hockey.”
Doan has led the Coyotes in the first two games but needs help if Phoenix has any chance of winning tonight’s game or the series.
"I think we're pretty confident as a group that, hey, we can compete, and we can play, and it's just we need to do it for a full 60 minutes," Doan said. "We haven't put it together the way that we want to, and we need a bunch of guys to step up.”
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
, who left Game 2 in the second period because of an upper-body injury, will play tonight. Defenseman Derek Morris
, who has missed the first two games because of an upper-body injury, is questionable.
, who has given up eight goals in the first two games, will be back in net for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes fell behind 4-0 before rallying to within 4-3 in Game 2 on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.
"We just have to play harder,” defenseman Adrian Aucoin
said. “We have to play a little faster and do things quicker, not necessarily charging guys or anything, but just getting the puck behind them quicker and using our speed. We did show what we could do when we put our minds to it.”
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett wants to see his team improve its play in all zones.
"Our guys are up for that challenge," Tippett said. "We want that challenge. Our power play came through and got us back in the game (on Saturday). That's the way a series goes, there's always ebbs and flows like that.”
|Photo by Getty Images.
Detroit has lost eight of the last 11 Game 3 road games they've played in the playoffs.
After watching Phoenix storm back in the third period of Game 2, the Red Wings are expecting the Coyotes to start Game 3 with confidence and a sense of urgency.
"No doubt they'll be coming," defenseman Niklas Kronwall told the Detroit Free Press, "but we have to bring all the energy we have, and instead of them dictating things, hopefully we can win the first face-off and go after them. That way we get to the momentum going."
Detroit again will play minus left Henrik Zetterberg, who is nursing a knee injury. Zetterberg traveled with the Red Wings to Arizona for Games 3 and 4, but is not ready to return.
Jimmy Howard, who has allowed just six goals to the Coyotes in winning the past three playoff games the teams have played – including Game 7 a year ago – will be back in net for the Red Wings.
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