GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The distance from Tombstone to Phoenix is 167 miles, which might be a long way to go for a shootout what with all the traffic. Glendale, a suburb of the Arizona metropolis, is much closer and swank Jobing.com Arena clearly is a more comfortable venue than a dusty alley to witness all kinds of flying projectiles.
The score: Detroit 7, Phoenix 4. In the annals of Coyotes playoff hockey -- we know, this no as voluminous as
The Red Wings certainly are OK, having won this marvelous and no doubt maddening game -- for the Coyotes coaches, anyway -- to even the first-round series after two games. The Red Wings reminded the hockey world of their bona fides, utilizing their superior skill and showing a considerable will.
But the Coyotes, well, they sort of were OK, too. They got caught up in the second-period merriment, but then showed -- for a time, at least -- they could be more than a buttoned-down, cautious team that was eternally obliged to eke out one-goal victories. Now, they certainly don't want to keep getting into shootouts with a team that has way more bullets; but in defeat, they showed a side that had largely kept hidden.
"We opened up a lot," said Phoenix center
"We're not going to win many hockey games doing that," coach
"He's such a mobile defenseman," Coyotes veteran defenseman
And in the second period, there were nothing but holes. In the most entertaining period of these still young playoffs, the party hats and noisemakers were broken out. Staring with Zetterberg's power play goal at 6:27 and ending with Filppula's nifty finish at 10:25, the teams scored five times in two ticks under four minutes, alternating goals. They were like two schoolyard welterweights at recess who simply forgot about self-preservation and took turns whaling away at each other, inflicting a fair amount of punishment.
From a Phoenix perspective, the quick answers to the first two Detroit goals were most impressive. When Howard and defenseman