In their first game at Joe Louis Arena since February 12, the Detroit Red Wings were defeated by the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2.
The loss comes on the second half of a home-and-home series that saw the Detroit win the opening game in Phoenix. That night, it was Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph that was plagued by inconsistant play; Tuesday, Red Wings netminder Manny Legace stumbled, making only 19 saves on 24 shots.
University of Michigan product Mike Comrie opened the game’s scoring at 6:50 of the first period, banging in the rebound of a Dave Scatchard redirection while crashing the net.
Just after a penalty to Detroit expired at 9:54 of the period, former Red Wing Boyd Devereaux was left all alone at the side of the crease to take a pass from Steven Reinprecht and lift a shot into the net, putting the Coyotes up by two.
Scatchard gave Phoenix a three-goal lead with 5:58 remaining in the opening period, scoring on an odd-man rush that saw him skate right up the middle untouched to take a pass and put a quick shot past Legace.
Detroit got on the board just 1:30 later, when Pavel Datsyuk banked a bad-angle shot off of Joseph and into the net while the Red Wings skated five-on-three.
The Red Wings pulled to within one at 2:53 of the second period when Kris Draper went behind the net and sent a pass out to Brendan Shanahan alone in front of the goal. Shanahan took two wacks at the puck and put it past Joseph.
At 9:05 of the final period, Comrie scored his second of the game with the Coyotes on the power play, tipping a shot from the blue line by Zbynek Michalek past Legace.
After Joseph appeared to get away with throwing his stick while making a save, the Red Wings were given a penalty shot when Mike Comrie shot a teammate’s dropped stick into the path of a pass to Nicklas Lidstrom with 5:03 remaining. Mark Mowers couldn’t convert on the chance and Detroit remained down by two.
Shane Doan put the game away with a power play goal with 4:09 remaining. Doan got the puck on the right side of the slot and lifted a shot over the sprawling Legace.
Joseph finished the game with 35 saves on 37 shots.
Detroit scored only once on six power play chances, while Phoenix scored two power play goals on seven tries.
The Red Wings return to the ice on Thurday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.
Nicklas Lidstrom picked up career assist number 600 on Datsyuk’s goal.