With their season on the line, Detroit’s top players came through as Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each scored a pair of goals in leading the Red Wings to a 6-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Seven of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.
The Red Wings advance to face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Detroit outshot Phoenix 17-6 in the first period but couldn’t solve goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. It wasn’t until 2:01 of the second period that his countryman, Datsyuk, opened the game’s scoring.
With the Red Wings on the power play, Datsyuk took a bouncing feed from Lidstrom in the slot and snapped a shot through traffic in front of the net and past Bryzgalov.
Datsyuk scored his second just 1:41 later, taking a long stretch pass from Zetterberg and breaking in all alone on Bryzgalov. He faked to his backhand and cut back to his forehand, lifting a shot over Bryzgalov’s shoulder to make it 2-0.
Lidstrom’s first of the night, another power play goal, restored Detroit’s two-goal lead with 6:08 left in the period. The rebound of a Zetterberg chance came into the high slot, where Lidstrom stepped in and blasted it past Bryzgalov.
The Coyotes had a chance to cut into the lead again in the period’s closing minutes with a 72-second five-on-three. Detroit limited Phoenix to only two shots, however, and turned the tables as the second penalty expired.
Lee Stempniak tried to throw a pass to former Red Wing Mathieu Schneider at the point but it was off target and left the Detroit zone. Just out of the penalty box, Brad Stuart picked up the loose puck and raced in to beat Bryzgalov with 4.6 seconds left in the period.
Bertuzzi banged home the rebound of a Valtteri Filppula chance 6:35 into the third period, virtually ending the series.
Lidstrom wrapped up the scoring with his second of the night, snapping a shot into the top corner of the net from the right faceoff dot. It was another power play goal, coming with 7:46 left in the game.
The Red Wings finished the night three-for-six on the power play. The Coyotes were scoreless on five tries with the extra attacker, including the 1:12 five-on-three.
Howard stopped 32 of 33 shots in earning the win. Bryzgalov made 44 saves on 50 Detroit chances.
The Red Wings are expected to open the second round on Thursday.
Phoenix captain Shane Doan sat out his fourth consecutive game after being injured in Game Three.