Detroit Red Wings Win in Seven, Move On to Face San Jose Sharks
You could feel the excitement walking to Jobing.com Arena. This is game seven. Yes, it is only the first round, but this is big.
The smack talking began on the walk over to the Arena.
"Your team sucks and so does your city. Detroit is stupid!"
Yes, the drunk fans were out in full force at the bars surrounding the Glendale area.
Inside, the lights turned off. A video highlighting the Phoenix Coyotes doubters came on the Jumbotron. Several quotes about how Detroit should dominate and win in four flashed in red.
One thing the Coyotes never did was give up.
That is, until game seven.
Detroit looked like they were playing a college hockey team. They skated through defenders, passed the puck through wide open lanes, and got plenty of quality shots.
Ilya Bryzgalov stood on his head in the first period. Detroit had 17 shots on goal. It was hardly in Jimmy Howard's end. The score did not reflect the dominance of the first period by Detroit.
The teams switched ends and Detroit got a power play. They would not let this opportunity pass by.
Pavel Datsyuk scored two minutes into the second period, and opened up a flurry of scoring for the Red Wings.
Datsyuk scored another goal less than two minutes later. Phoenix answered back with a goal of their own to make it a close game.
Detroit had a plan to make sure Phoenix knew who was boss.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored on a power play with a rifle shot from the point. The Coyotes looked to get back in to the game when Detroit took two penalties to go down three on five.
With some great defense and goaltending, the Red Wings managed to kill both penalties. That is when Brad Stuart stepped out of the box, took the puck, beat Mathieu Schneider, and roofed a shot over Bryzgalov to make the score 4-1.
Coming into the third period, you could feel the excitement in the crowd. The Coyotes fans were used to facing adversity. After all, their team may move to Canada.
The fans were not ready to give up and neither was their team. The Red Wings, however, decided to stop playing nice and put the game away.
Todd Bertuzzi took a rebound past Bryzgalov with just over 14 minutes left in the game. This pretty much drained all Phoenix's hope.
This is when the crowd got rowdy and left. Those fans who did not leave, picked fights with the Red Wings fans. A beer bottle was thrown on to the ice, where Zetterberg skated it over towards the Wings bench.
The crowd dwindled down to half of its original 17,543 people. At one point, the clock that had read 10:01 actually briefly changed to 1:01, almost as if to say "it's over, let's move on."
Shortly after, an octopus littered the ice.
The Red Wings played puck control the rest of the game until they had a power play. Nicklas Lidstrom scored his second goal of the night on this power play at 12:14. This made the game 6-1, which would be the final.
The excitement of game seven only lasted the first two periods. The Phoenix Coyotes exited the playoffs in a somewhat inauspicious manner.
I guess that is what happens when you play the Detroit Red Wings during the playoffs and "Hockeytown."
San Jose had the second best record in all of hockey, and the best record in the Western Conference. They are used to the Red Wings who they faced four times during the season.
The Red Wings held the upper hand, going 3-0-1 against San Jose. Hopefully, that experience will carry over in to the second round.
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