Brett Hull scored two goals for the Red Wings, helping them to overcome an early two-goal deficit and tie the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-2.
The game did not start well for the Red Wings, in spite of their strong defensive play in Saturday’s game against the Stars. The Coyotes were well-rested and enthusiastic, and it showed in their playing: they kept the Red Wings penned in their end of the rink for the greater part of the first period.
Phoenix opened the scoring just over six minutes into the game. Daniel Briere shot the puck from a tight angle on the right side, and it went between Manny Legace’s arm and body on the far side of the net.
Briere scored again only seventeen seconds again. Daymond Langkow shot the puck on the net from point-blank range. Legace blocked the shot, but Briere grabbed up the rebound and swept it into the net.
Scotty Bowman did then the only thing which he can safely be predicted to do: he switched up the lines. It worked, after a fashion. The Red Wings started to play with more pressure, carrying the play into the Phoenix zone. It paid off for Brett Hull.
Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman tangled with a pair of Phoenix defenseman in the corner, and got the puck out front to Hull, who was all alone with goalie Robert Esche. Hull stared at the top of the net, Esche moved up to block, and Hull slid the puck between the goalie’s legs. “Sometimes those are the hardest shots, because you start thinking about it!” Hull laughed later.
Detroit continued their steady offensive pressure throughout the second period, but neither team scored again before the intermission. The Red Wings got two power play opportunities and a four-on-four situation that looked as if it could have been a power play. Their passing and puck control were strong, but Esche was able to stop all ten of the shots he faced in the period.
The third period continued in much the same fashion until its end, when Hull rose to the occasion once again. Mathieu Dandenault fired a hard shot from the blue line, and Hull was in just the right place in front of the net to tip it past Esche, sending the game to overtime.
Play went end to end in the overtime period. Legace made a great save to deny Briere his hat trick, and the game ended in a tie.
Shots on net were thirty-one to twenty-nine in the Red Wings’ favor. Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings will travel next to Dallas to play against the Stars on Wednesday night.