By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2, in dramatic overtime fashion Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena to extend their winning streak to four games.
Defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored the game-winning goal at 1:57 of the extra period. His seemingly harmless shot from the right boards just inside the blue line sailed over the stick of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, off the left post and into the net.
Matthew Lombardi and Petr Prucha also scored goals for Phoenix, which rallied from a 2-1 deficit late in the third period.
After the game, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett was asked what the come-from-behind victory against such a formidable opponent like Detroit says about his players.
“It says they’ve got a lot of will to win, which is good,” Tippett replied. “We hung in there. We weren’t getting much in the third period, they were playing pretty well and we weren’t getting much but we hung around."
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves to post his sixth victory of the young season.
All-Star Pavel Datsyuk returned to Detroit’s lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. He provided the primary assist on both of Detroit’s goals, including Brett Lebda’s at 7:45 of the second period that gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead, which they held until Prucha’s goal with 2:40 left in regulation.
Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom was called for slashing at 16:18 of the first period. The Coyotes scored 12 seconds later when Lombardi swatted the high rebound of an Aucoin slap shot into the Detroit net.
The Red Wings evened the score late in the first period, eight seconds after Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski was called for interference at 19:32. Tomas Holmstrom scored the goal by redirecting a shot from the top of the right circle by Henrik Zetterberg past Bryzgalov.
Sensing that time was running out, the Coyotes stepped up their offensive pressure late in the third period. With 2:40 left in regulation, Coyotes forward Petr Prucha managed to somehow, while on his stomach, get his stick through a scrum of players and push the puck past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood to tie the score at 2. Off-ice officials reviewed the play for several minutes to make sure none of the Coyotes in the scrum interfered with Osgood. The goal was upheld, much to the chagrin of Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock. “I just thought they were pushing the goalie into the net, and to me I didn’t think that was allowed," Babcock said.
• Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett is pleased with his team's 6-2-0 start, but he still sees room for improvement. "Our effort and compete level were pretty good, but I think we can do better things with the puck," Tippett said after Thursday's game. ".. I really think there's a lot more execution in this team than we showed tonight."
• Phoenix has six wins in their first eight games of the season for just the third time in franchise history. They started the season 6-1-1 in 2000-01 and 1982-83.
• The Coyotes have allowed two or fewer goals in each of their past seven games.
• Coyotes center Vernon Fiddler had another stellar night in the faceoff circles. Fiddler won 12 of 17 draws.