Forget the rout indicated by the 6-1 final score, or the territorial advantage suggested by a 50-33 shot advantage.
To be sure, the Detroit Red Wings outplayed the gritty but ultimately overmatched Phoenix Coyotes pretty much from the moment the puck dropped at 8:10 p.m., MST. But the decisive seventh game, as well as the series, basically came down to three minutes of hockey (
With the Wings holding a 3-1 lead late in the second period, Detroit forward
So there it was: a five-on-three opportunity for 1:12.
What followed was Phoenix's best burst of sustained offensive pressure. Not surprisingly, all of the action was generated from the back end. Between
It was an impressive display of firepower. Only problem? Nothing got past
That failure alone might have been enough to deflate a Coyotes team whose legs were starting to weaken under them. But then, the turning point. Moments after hopping out of the box, Stuart pounced on an errant pass from
Full marks to the Coyotes, who gave an honest account of themselves in the third, but the game was over the minute that puck crossed the goal line. And they knew it.