Red Wings Score Three Power Play Goals as Howard Blanks Coyotes

Jimmy Howard stopped every shot he faced Monday night and the Red Wings scored three times on the power play en route to a 4-0 Detroit win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Howard made 34 saves in earning the win, just Detroit’s fourth in the last twelve games. Phoenix netminder Mike Smith made 19 saves on 22 shots against.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring with his first of two goals on the night and the first of Detroit’s trio of goals with the extra man. Just 2:37 in, Franzen tipped a long shot by Damien Brunner past Smith from the slot.

With 36 seconds left in the period, Brunner scored a goal of his own on the power play. Henrik Zetterberg fed Brunner a cross-ice pass for a quick wrister from the inside edge of the left faceoff circle – Detroit’s second power play goal of the night.

Zetterberg notched his third assists on Valtteri Filppula‘s power play goal with 3:51 remaining in the second period. Zetterberg worked a give-and-go with Filppula to gain the Coyotes’ zone and carried the puck into the left circle before sending it back to Filppula at the bottom of the circle. Filppula’s low-angle shot slipped through Smith to make it 3-0.

Franzen rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:22 remaining.

Detroit finished the night three-for-five on the power play while the Coyotes could not score with four tries on the man-advantage.

With the win, Howard tied Tim Cheveldae in career wins as a Red Wings netminder with 128.

Pregame: Coyotes @ Red Wings – 4/22

The Red Wings kick off their final three-game homestand of the season tonight, hosting the Phoenix Coyotes in what could be (though we’ve said that for the past three years) the final meeting between the teams.

Detroit currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference, three points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets but with two games in hand, meaning that if they win out they’re in the playoffs. Failing to claim a single point would mean that they need help, but they can help themselves as they face the current tenth seeded Dallas Stars to close out the season on Saturday.

Dallas is currently tied with the Red Wings but has played one more game. The Coyotes are two points back in eleventh.

The only lineup change the Wings are going with from Saturday’s loss in Vancouver is Patrick Eaves swapping in for the injured Drew Miller. Miller suffered a broken hand against the Canucks and is expected to miss four to six weeks, at which point the Wings’ season will likely be over.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

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