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Phoenix ends Detroit's mastery

The Coyotes’ Mike Smith, a former Lightning goaltender, stops a shot by Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk during the third period.

Associated Press

The Coyotes’ Mike Smith, a former Lightning goaltender, stops a shot by Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk during the third period.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes needed a boost after an exhausting first half of the season.

Beating San Jose was a big step. Following that with a win over Detroit, another nemesis, could send them into a sprint toward the playoffs again.

Former Lightning goaltender Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, Martin Hanzal scored twice and the Coyotes ended a seven-game losing streak to the Red Wings with a 3-1 victory Monday night.

"They're two good teams in the upper echelon of the conference and when you're taking points away from them, you're getting points that other teams aren't going to get," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "You look at those as very valuable points."

Phoenix opened the season's second half with a loss to Anaheim, thanks in part to shaky goaltending by Smith.

Needing to make up ground fast, the Coyotes beat the Pacific Division-leading Sharks 5-3 on Saturday. They backed it up with a solid performance against Detroit, getting a short-handed goal from Boyd Gordon in the first period and one on a power play by Hanzal in the second.

Detroit's Johan Franzen scored his 20th goal late in the second and the Red Wings picked up the pressure in the third. But Smith had 11 saves in the period, and Hanzal closed it out by scoring into an empty net.

The Coyotes needed a second-half surge to get into the playoffs last season, and beating two of the Western Conference's best teams could get them jump-started this season.

"We've been playing against some good hockey teams and getting some points," Gordon said.

The good news for the Red Wings is that after a five-game road trip, the next six are at home, where Detroit has won 17 straight.

"I think we started a little slow," said Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald, who stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced in his first start of the season. "It's been a long road trip for the guys and I think as the game went on, we got our wheels underneath us."

The Red Wings and Coyotes met in the playoffs the two previous seasons. Detroit won both including a sweep last year.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Phil Kessel scored twice and Mikhail Grabovski assisted on Toronto's first two goals to lead the surging Maple Leafs past the visiting Oilers 6-3. Edmonton played without coach Tom Renney, who stayed at the team hotel after taking a puck in the head during the morning skate. The cut required stitches and left Renney experiencing headaches. Associate coach Ralph Krueger took over. Toronto has climbed back into playoff position in the East by going 5-0-1 in its past six.

CROSBY UPDATE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby practiced Monday but said he is no closer to returning from a concussion and neck injury that have sidelined him for most of the season.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The league fined Avalanche forward Chuck Kobasew for tripping Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis on Saturday. … The Wild signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension.

at Coyotes 1 1 1 3
Red Wings 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Phoenix, Gordon 6, 7:22 (sh). PenaltiesWhite, Det (hooking), 4:58; Hanzal, Pho (tripping), 5:36; Lidstrom, Det (hooking), 18:29.

Second Period2, Phoenix, Hanzal 7 (Whitney, Vrbata), 6:55 (pp). 3, Detroit, Franzen 20 (Zetterberg, Datsyuk), 17:24 (pp). PenaltiesWhite, Det (tripping), 4:28; Datsyuk, Det (hooking), 6:16; Rozsival, Pho (hooking), 15:04; Klesla, Pho (delay of game), 17:14.

Third Period4, Phoenix, Hanzal 8 (Whitney), 19:31 (en). PenaltiesDoan, Pho (tripping), 14:03. Shots on GoalDetroit 6-14-11—31. Phoenix 6-8-9—23. Power-play opportunitiesDetroit 1 of 4; Phoenix 1 of 4. GoaliesDetroit, MacDonald 0-1-1 (22 shots-20 saves). Phoenix, M.Smith 20-14-7 (31-30). A12,687 (17,135). T2:17.

at Maple Leafs 2 3 1 6
Oilers 2 1 0 3

First Period1, Edmonton, Eberle 23 (Hall, Gagner), :21. 2, Toronto, MacArthur 17 (Grabovski, Kessel), 8:21. 3, Toronto, Gardiner 2 (Grabovski), 13:45. 4, Edmonton, Eberle 24 (Petry, Hall), 17:30. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period5, Toronto, Kessel 28 (Lombardi, Connolly), 1:45. 6, Toronto, Bozak 10, 4:15. 7, Edmonton, Petry 2, 13:24. 8, Toronto, Lupul 21 (Phaneuf), 16:54. PenaltiesNone.

Third Period9, Toronto, Kessel 29 (Phaneuf, MacArthur), 18:55 (en). PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalEdmonton 16-7-7—30. Toronto 11-11-9—31. Power-play opportunitiesEdmonton 0 of 0; Toronto 0 of 0. GoaliesEdmonton, Dubnyk 10-12-1 (30 shots-25 saves). Toronto, Reimer 10-5-4 (30-27). A19,581 (18,819). T2:28.

Phoenix ends Detroit's mastery 02/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 12:17am]
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