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Just like in last season's playoffs, the Red Wings and Coyotes meet up in the first round. Last year, the series went seven games before Detroit was declared the winner. The Coyotes travel to Detroit to play their first game of the postseason tonight at 7:00PM ET.
Who to Watch: Ilya Bryzgalov
Even though he is missing the first game, Henrik Zetterberg is going to be a key player in this series. It doesn't matter if he is on the road or at home, he puts up great numbers. But the main player to watch this series is Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov won 36 games for Phoenix. His goals-against average is slightly under 2.5 per contest and his season save percentage was a solid .921. He is key in this series, because he found success when he played Detroit this season.
Bryzgalov had four starts against the Red Wings this season. He picked up points in each game, winning two and losing two in overtime. Obviously, home teams in the playoffs have an advantage. But in the two games he played the Joe Lewis Arena, Bryzgalov posted a .941 save percentage. Compared to the shaky goaltending of Jimmy Howard, Phoenix has the advantage in goaltending.
Bryzgalov went seven games last season against Detroit. Look for him to take them as far, or maybe even farther, this season.