Detroit found a great way to end their most successful road trip of the season. Dylan Larkin amazed many in overtime to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena Thursday night.
The Red Wings tried to finish a long six game road streak with a win against the Coyotes before they go back home. They nearly went perfect with a 5-0 record on the road until they lost to the Los Angeles Kings Monday. Jimmy Howard tried getting back in net but his endurance didn’t help Detroit giving up three straight to Los Angeles.
With the first of two meetings, the Red Wings have a big mission on their hands as they tried to end Arizona’s five game winning streak. The Coyotes have been on a hot streak in their last ten games going 7-1-2 in the process. A win against Detroit would give them their longest winning streak in two years.
The two teams took shots minimally through the first period as each was feeling out the other goaltender. Petr Mrazek was still on a hat streaking hope that he could keep up his success on ice. Arizona chose to go with sophomore Louie Domingue who returned to the team in place of Mike Smith. Through ten minutes of play, the shots were 4-3 in favor of Arizona until the veterans for Detroit started to contribute. A shot from Pavel Datsyuk nearly found its mark just hitting off the post.
Detroit got pressured by the Coyotes in their zone shooting through four minutes of play. Mrazek alongside his defense kept opportunities away to keep things even with six minutes to go. They took a 9-4 lead on shots on goal until the Red Wings were looking the finish the period with the lead. They didn’t as they handed the Coyotes more time with the puck and 5 on 4 power play to finish twenty minutes with a 12-6 run.
The Red Wings had a solid start to open the second period but with the Coyotes on their backs, it was a matter of time for them to counteract. It happened in the Detroit zone where an attempt to get it out got cut off by Arizona. They started to attack catching the Red Wings scrambling to jump on defense when it was too late. A bouncing puck went towards defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson where he scored his 13th of the season on a high shot giving Arizona the lead.
It didn’t get any better for the Red Wings as they had trouble getting their power play running on their opening chance. The frustration made them pay the price as Dylan Larkin and Tobias Rieder went in for penalties that put the teams on 4 on 4. Detroit was able to get shots to the net of Domingue but the goal lingered over their heads as the period got deep in.
Arizona got their second chance on the man advantage busting out some great scoring chances on Mrazek but not finding the back of the net. They would get back on it just three minutes later where Datsyuk took a hooking call that would be the game changer in the desert.
Nearly a minute into Arizona’s power play Rieder fired a shot into traffic that caught the stick of Coyotes captain Shane Doan giving him his 16th on the year and a commanding 2-0 lead over Detroit. The final 70 seconds of play went into the books with the fact that things were tumbling for Detroit with very little time to make up the lost ground.
Seven minutes flew from the start of the third period and the Red Wings weren’t producing enough to get them anywhere close to coming back. They were allowed two shots by Arizona who clearly had the edge on them. A second opportunity for Detroit came in a man advantage that they had to do something on having blown their last nine of ten on the road.
It came together with patience as Datsyuk scored on a centering shot from the high slot cutting Arizona’s margin in half for his sixth this season. Mike Green picked up an assist from his side pass from the far end that helped Detroit get on the board.
With the drought coming to an end, they tried to make it to in a row on a penalty to Arizona. With just 47 seconds left, the Red Wings were battling the puck near the net trying to score the tying goal. Domingue made a huge stick save at first but it was accomplished by Gustav Nyquist giving the hot scoring forward his 13th and sixth on the power play.
Arizona coach Dave Tippett felt that goaltender interference was cause to challenge the goal and return his team to a one goal margin. He was denied by officials who called it a good goal putting things into an interesting path with 5:40 left in regulation. The clock continued to tick away and the game still remained dead even at two. Chances were taken as much as possible but in the end, both the Coyotes and Red Wings were forced into 3 on 3 hockey.
The Red Wings put Justin Abdelkader with their best shot early as he went in on Domingue but his point blank shot was stopped on the pads. The same was said for Mrazek who made a point blank save on the glove. It gave the Red Wings some life and went back into the Coyotes zone with Larkin dictating the movement of the puck.
He bobbed and weaved through the Arizona defense before finding teammate Danny DeKeyser on his left for the defenseman to score the game winning goal with 2:52 left. The Detroit native scored his fourth on the year and the one that sent a huge majority of Red Wings fans into a frenzy. It was the first game Detroit played in OT out of their past 13 games and one that comes at a great time before going home.
Mrazek has continued to be the biggest hero for Detroit as he picked up his fourth straight win since Jan. 2. The 25 year old made 27 saves on the night for a .931 save percentage. His power in net continues to go on as they return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.