By Dave Vest
The Coyotes played as if they had a nasty case of the Mondays on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena and lost, 3-2, to the injury-riddled Detroit Red Wings.
Even Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
, who earlier in the day was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week, provided a mediocre performance.
Head Coach Dave Tippett summed it up well: "For whatever reason, you have games that aren't your best games (and) you're not as sharp as you should be, and that was one of those games for us. Give Detroit credit. They worked hard. They played at a fast pace. We didn't match that."
Detroit, playing minus a half dozen injured regulars, took a 2-0 lead in the first period en route to its third consecutive 3-2 victory.
Center Kris Newbury, whom the Red Wings recalled from the American Hockey League just hours before the game to replace injured Darren Helm, scored his first goal with Detroit 23 seconds after leaving the penalty box for goalie interference.
Kris Draper set up Newbury’s goal with a pass from the right side that skipped over teammate Drew Miller’s stick and slid to Newbury on the left wing. Newbury tapped the puck past Bryzgalov at 5:25.
Patrick Eaves gave Detroit a 2-0 edge by scoring an unassisted short-handed goal at 10:37. Eaves gained control of the puck at the Detroit blue line, raced Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski
up the left wing, and then fired the puck past Bryzgalov on the goalie’s short side.
The 2-0 deficit angered Coyotes captain Shane Doan
and he responded by making several hard checks late in the first period. Doan delivered his biggest hit on Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson in the right corner of the Detroit zone with five minutes left in the period. Ericsson crumpled to the ice after the hit, but the Coyotes kept control of the puck and play continued, and Taylor Pyatt
beat Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard with a wrist shot at 15:08.
Ericsson suffered a knee injury on the clean, shoulder-to-shoulder hit and did not return.
Phoenix (19-12-2) failed to parlay the momentum from Pyatt's goal and again fell behind by two.
The Red Wings (17-11-5) took a 3-1 lead early in the second period when defenseman Derek Meech beat Bryzgalov at 2:05 with a tricky shot taken from just inside the Phoenix blue line. The puck, shot between Coyotes defenders Jim Vandermeer and Sami Lepisto
, headed toward Bryzgalov like a knuckle ball, nicked the top of his lifted glove and continued into the net.
It was Meech's first point in 16 games this season, and it pleased Red Wings head Coach Mike Babcock.
"If we don't have secondary scoring, we're not going to win," Babcock told reporters. "Most of our primary scoring is out."
The Coyotes struggled to get the puck out of their zone for most of the first half of the second period and were outshot, 13-1, during that span.
Phoenix finally sustained some offensive pressure late in the second period and pulled to within 3-2 when Radim Vrbata
’s shot from just off the right boards sailed over Howard’s right shoulder and under the crossbar with 37 seconds left in the period.
The Coyotes outshot the Red Wings, 11-7, in the third period but Howard, a rookie playing Phoenix for the first time in his NHL career, did not surrender the lead.
• Defenseman/alternate captain Ed Jovanovski
returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension and assisted on both of Phoenix's goals. It was the fourth multi-point game of the season for Jovanovski and the 79th of his career.
• Forward Radim Vrbata
has scored a goal in each of the past three games and leads the Coyotes with 10 goals.
• The Coyotes won only 12 of 43 faceoffs (28 percent).
• Captain Shane Doan
, who played his 998th NHL game, took a game-high eight shots on goal but failed to score for a season-high sixth consecutive game. Doan is on path to play his 1,000th game on Thursday at Columbus.
• Phoenix is 5-10-1 in games in which its opponent has scored first.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
and David Schlemko
. The Red Wings scratched Dan Cleary (injured) and Darren Helm (injured).