By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes lost a second consecutive home game and their leading goal scorer to injury Saturday night.
Tomas Holmstrom scored two goals and Jimmy Howard stopped 35 of 36 shots to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 victory over Phoenix in front of a sellout crowd at Jobing.com Arena.
Forward Scottie Upshall, who leads the Coyotes with 14 goals, was hit in the second period and left the game. He did not return.
(On Sunday, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney told phoenixcoyotes.com that Upshall suffered an upper-body injury and that he would be re-evaluated on Monday.)
Pavel Datsyuk scored a power-play goal and Darren Helm added an empty-netter for Detroit (21-14-6), which played minus several injured regulars, including leading point scorer Henrik Zetterberg.
"Their role players I thought were very good and their top guys got them the goals they needed," Tippett said. "... The key pieces are still in place there. They got three top defensemen there. Datsyuk is as good a centerman as there is in the world so you got some key pieces in place.”
Trailing 1-0, Matthew Lombardi scored Phoenix's goal during a five-on-three advantage early in the second period. Robert Lang set up Lombardi's goal with a crisp pass through the crease from the left corner.
Detroit, however, scored the next three goals to hand Phoenix (25-14-4) its first regulation loss at home since Nov. 16.
“It was a good win for us," Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock said. "(Howard) was outstanding. I thought he made some real key saves and there was lots of traffic in front of the net."
Tomas Holmstrom has made a name for himself by standing in front of opponents' nets and deflecting pucks past goalies. He did it twice on Saturday to help the Red Wings build a 2-1 lead. Holmstrom's second goal, scored with 19 seconds left in the second period, was a backbreaker for Phoenix.
• The attendance was 17,125. It was Phoenix's second sellout of the season. The first was the home opener on Oct. 10. Opponents have outscored the Coyotes 6-1 in those games.
• The Coyotes outhit the Red Wings 31-16. Captain Shane Doan led the way with nine hits. He also had four shots on goal.
• Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopeed 32 of 35 shots. His best save came with 1:19 left in the second period when he gloved a shot by Brad Stuart after Stuart raced toward him with the puck on a breakaway.
• Phoenix dropped to 2-9-2 in games in which they trailed after one period.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette, Vernon Fiddler (lower-body injury), and Jim Vandermeer (upper-body injury). The Red Wings scratched Jonathan Ericsson (injured), Brad May (injured) and Henrik Zetterberg (injured).
"In the home building, we should have been able to pull it out. We started really good and obviously they kind of came on with the first goal and kind of took the wind away from us."
"We lost the momentum at the end of the second period. I think we were rolling pretty good (before that). The guys had some good energy and then we just got away from doing the little things that we do well and they took advantage of that."
"It was a really good hockey game. We wound up winning but they had some really good chances for sure, but this time we pulled it off.”
• Dec. 14, 2009: DET 3, PHX 2
• Jan. 26, 2010:
• Oct. 22, 2009: PHX 3, DET 2 (OT)
• Jan. 2, 2010: DET 4, PHX 1
1 - 0 DET
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 DET
3 - 1 DET
4 - 1 DET