|DET||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|PHX||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
By Jerry Brown | NHL.com Correspondent
GLENDALE - Martin Hanzal scored a pair of goals and Boyd Gordon got things started with a shorthanded tally in the first period as the Coyotes backed the 30-save effort of goalie Mike Smith with enough offense to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, at Jobing.com Arena on Monday night.
Hanzal and Gordon have combined for four goals and seven points in the last two games as the Coyotes scored rare back-to-back wins over San Jose (5-3 on Saturday) and the Red Wings, who had won seven straight over Phoenix – including four straight in last year's playoffs – and hadn't lost to Phoenix since Mar. 5, 2011.
And with the two defensive-minded pivots around to check lines led by Joe Thornton and Logan Couture of San Jose and Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit, the Coyotes had a more even playing field to work with.
"You look at the last two games and those guys are playing against the two lines and that's no easy chore," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "When you have Thornton and Couture and then you have Datsyuk and Zetterberg – it shows how much they mean to our team and how much we missed them when they were out."
Four big points in 48 hours inched the Coyotes within two points of eighth-place Minnesota in the West and within a point of ninth-place Dallas – where the Coyotes will be Tuesday night to take on the Stars. It also ended a season-long, six-game homestand that started with an overtime loss to Detroit and included bitter losses to Tampa Bay and Anaheim on a happy note.
Johan Franzen scored his 20th goal of the season on the power play for the Red Wings, who were 9-1-1 in their last 11 games but ended a five-game road trip with losses at Edmonton and Phoenix. Detroit's lead over the New York Rangers for the top spot in the NHL standings remains a point.
"After we scored a goal I thought we played great," Datsyuk said. "But we couldn't score and Smith played well."
But the Red Wings, now 2-for-45 on the power play over their last 16 road games, also allowed their sixth shorthanded goal of the season and lost the special teams battle again. They dropped to 15-15-1 on the road this season – a far cry from their sparkling 20-2-1 record at Joe Louis Arena. Goalie Joey MacDonald, subbing for the injured Jimmy Howard, made 20 saves and kept his team in the game.
Detroit had their chances but Smith – who has stopped 103 of 108 shots in three appearances over Detroit in the last month but lost the previous two in frustrating shootout fashion – made an early 2-0 lead stand up to record 20 wins in a season for the first time in his career.
Hanzal, who missed almost a month after suffering a concussion when he was hit in the head with a stick by St. Louis' David Backes on Dec. 23, has three goals and four points in the last two games and eight on the season. And Gordon, who missed eight games during the same period that Hanzal was sidelined, has a goal and three points over the same span.
Gordon got the Phoenix offense going by scoring the sixth shorthanded goal of his NHL career during an abbreviated Detroit power play in the first period (see KEY MOMENT below).
|Photo by Getty Images.|
For the third time in the last month, the Coyotes scored first against Detroit – but this time, they were able to build on it.
After Phoenix defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson drew back-to-back penalties – to White for tripping and Datsyuk for hooking – in the second period, Phoenix's power play finally cashed in on its fourth try in the first 27 minutes.
With Hanzal and Radim Vrbata both in the slot to screen MacDonald, Ray Whitney's slap shot weaved through the traffic, found Hanzal's shin pad and deflected up and in at 6:55. The goal gave the Coyotes their first two-goal lead over the Red Wings since Oct. 28. 2010 – a span of 11 games (seven regular season, four playoffs).
It didn't last long. This time Phoenix took back-to-back penalties, with Rostislav Klesla following Michal Rozsival into the box when he whacked a puck out of mid-air and over the glass for a delay of game. Just nine seconds into Klesla's penalty, Zetterberg found Franzen at the mouth of the crease with position on Ekman-Larsson. Franzen punched it by Smith at 17:24 to cut the lead in half and put the Red Wings within striking distance.
But Smith shut the door from there, stopping all 11 shots he saw in the third, two of them on a late Detroit power play. Hanzal put the game out of reach by tucking an empty-netter home with 28.5 seconds left.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
|SHG - Boyd Gordon (6) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 PHX
|PPG - Martin Hanzal (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (30), Radim Vrbata (19)|
2 - 0 PHX
|PPG - Johan Franzen (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (30), Pavel Datsyuk (40)|
2 - 1 PHX
|EN - Martin Hanzal (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (31), Shane Doan (18)|
3 - 1 PHX
|Ian White Hooking against Shane Doan|
|Martin Hanzal Tripping against Darren Helm|
|Nicklas Lidstrom Hooking against Martin Hanzal|
|Ian White Tripping against Oliver Ekman-Larsson|
|Pavel Datsyuk Hooking against Oliver Ekman-Larsson|
|Michal Rozsival Hooking against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Rostislav Klesla Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Shane Doan Tripping against Johan Franzen|
|SA: 22||TOI: 59:07|
|Saves: 20||EV: 19 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .909||SH: 0 - 1|
|SA: 31||TOI: 59:54|
|Saves: 30||EV: 23 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 6|
|SV%: .968||SH: 2 - 2|