Bertuzzi Prevails in Shootout Win
Todd Bertuzzi scored the only goal in the shootout Thursday, lifting the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena, Detroit's fifth consecutive win.
Five of the Red Wings' past six wins have come in a shootout or overtime. They are 4-0 in shootouts, 3-1 in overtime. And those extra points are crucial. With 63 points, Detroit has moved into first place in the overall standings. Bertuzzi, with his team's third opportunity in the shootout, beat Mike Smith with a nifty spin move and backhand shot, after Jimmy Howard had stopped three Phoenix attempts.
Ian White and Bertuzzi scored for the Red Wings in regulation. Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen each had two assists.
The Red Wings went 0-for-5 on the power play, but it didn't cost them in the end. Phoenix was penalized three times for too many men on the ice. Detroit's suddenly slumping power play has gone 3-for-41 in the past 16 games. The Red Wings had to kill a penalty on Datsyuk in overtime, after the Coyotes had sustained pressure in their zone.
White tied it at 1-1 at 1:36 of the second period on a blast from just above the faceoff circle. Bertuzzi provided a screen. Bertuzzi then scored his 10th goal at 11:13, blasting in a pass from Franzen.
The Red Wings were building momentum before Gilbert Brule came out of the penalty box and, while on a two-on-one, took the puck right to the net and slid a shot underneath Howard. Torres had scored the only goal of the first period, beating Howard on a wraparound attempt at 2:23.
The momentum shifted a couple of times, but the Red Wings found a way to grind it out on the road, where they are now 13-13-0.
Detroit now heads home to play the Columbus Blue Jackets, where they might run into an old face of the 2008 Cup Champion team in Brett Lebda. Lebda was signed by the Jackets yesterday and may play against the Wings.
Also follow TCL Red Wings on Twitter!