Wings storm back in third, beat Coyotes in OT

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

Glendale, Arizona — Down by two goals to the upstart Coyotes with less than six minutes remaining in regulation, perhaps not much was expected from the Red Wings in their last game of an extended road trip.

And the likelihood of the determining boost coming from a power play ranked 25th in the NHL seemed distinctly implausible.

But, at times, these Wings seem destined to prove that underestimation is a high risk when appreciating their play.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 3, Coyotes 2, overtime

On Thursday night, they banished improbability.

With two power-play goals in the last 8:10 of regulation and a goal by Danny DeKeyser at 2:08 of overtime, fashioned out of another dazzling display of speed and uncommonly patient puck possession by rookie Dylan Larkin, the Wings won 3-2.

Their third period was an exercise in raw determination. The overtime was a wild affair, with the team speed of the Wings shining once again.

On an enormously successful road trip, literally from coast-to-coast, the Red Wings garnered 10 out of a possible 12 points.

And the last win, against an Arizona team that had won five straight and seven out of 10 with two overtime losses tossed in, was clearly their most triumphant of the trip.

Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and two assists.

Gustav Nyquist had a goal, his 13th and first in 10 games, and an assist.

Mike Green had two assists, giving him 15 in 37 games after the Wings acquired him as a free agent in the offseason.

Petr Mrazek stopped 18 of 20 shots in the first two periods, holding his mates in it until the cavalry finally appeared on the hilltop.

And DeKeyser’s fourth goal of the season was the winner.

“Well, we were just trying to make some plays, anytime Larks and Pavel are on the ice," DeKeyser said. "We try to hit Larks with some speed. He kind of swings and gets going, and he was really flying out there.

“So, we try to hit him with the puck. And I think Pav hit him, right before the goal, for a little breakaway. He almost buried that one. But he made a nice play to set me up, after that.

“He’s as skilled as you can find for a 19 year-old, and a huge playmaker.”

Larkin is second on the team with 16 assists. Henrik Zetterberg has 23.

As for the comeback, birthed so late in the third, DeKeyser said, “Yeah, it’s shows that we’ve got some resiliency on this team and we don’t give up, we keep pushing until the end. I think that’s a few times this year we battled right to the end of the game, and win in overtime.”

Nyquist, perhaps frustrated by his scoring slump and by missing a gaping open side of the net just before the tying goal, was like a bull terrier in the subsequent scramble in the crease. He whacked at the puck twice before it went in.

“The puck was just lying there,” he said. “I probably should have scored on the first try. It was a nice pass by Pav.

“It’s been a great road trip for us, obviously. And that was a great win for the team. We just said, before the third, to battle hard and go out and give it our best try to finish the road trip real strong.

“It was a great road win, for sure.”

The first goal of the game came at 4:51 after a turnover by Mike Green.

With the Wings defensive array completely scrambled, all defenders went toward or looked to Coyotes forward Jordan Martinook, on the right wing.

Martinook attempted a shot, and a deflection and pass later it was on the stick of defenseman Oliver Eckman-Larsson, who with a full head of steam from outside the zone drilled a 25-foot wrist shot past Mrazek, who stood little chance.

Then, at 18:50 of the period, with Datsyuk off for hooking Eckman-Larsson, the veteran Shane Doan scored a power-play goal.

Amid a scramble in front of Mrazek, Niklas Kronwall shoved Doan into the crease. He stayed there, bumping Mrazek and getting behind him, and a shot by Tobias Rieder deflected in off his skate.

Coach Jeff Blashill said the Red Wings considered a replay challenge, but a conversation with one of the referees convinced him it was unlikely to prevail.

Scoring chances heavily favored the Coyotes through two periods, and the Red Wings had some trouble getting their attempts on net. The Coyotes also beat the Wings to a lot of loose pucks in the first two frames.

Much changed in the third, and right from the get-go the Wings were emboldened and far more assertive. They forced some penalties, including two big hooking calls, as the Coyotes scrambled to keep pace.

With Antoine Vermette off for hooking, the Wings' dormant power play pulled a Lazarus.

Before the game, questioned about potential changes in personnel on special teams, Blashill demurred, saying “the process” had been better of late than the results.

The coach’s faith triumphed.

Datsyuk, whose energy and determination seemed to lift the team in the third period, brought the Red Wings to a one-goal deficit at 11:50 with 40-foot wrist shot on the power play. Justin Abdelkader set an effective screen, and goalie Louis Domingue stood little chance.

Green and Nyquist assisted.

It was Datsyuk’s sixth goal in 29 games since his return from ankle surgery.

Then, with rookie sensation Anthony Duclair off for hooking, the Wings got another power-play goal when Nyquist prevailed in the crease scramble.

Then, in overtime, Larkin took flight and DeKeyser nailed down the win.

“Obviously, to go on the road is a long stretch,” Blashill said. “I think just winning five out of six is a big thing in this league right now.

“We put ourselves in a little tough stretch before Christmas with winnable games at home that we didn’t win. But I just think the character in the room is, they won’t allow that to continue.”