Red Wings oust Coyotes
By BOB BAUM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Just when the Phoenix Coyotes seemed ready to write the greatest chapter yet in a storybook season, the Detroit Red Wings delivered a brutal lesson in playoff hockey.
The Red Wings swept into Arizona like some nasty desert storm last night and buried the Coyotes, 6-1, in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.
"It was more like a hurricane than a storm," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Their top players came out and dictated the pace and we had no answers. They were relentless. They turned it up another level that we couldn't get to."
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice in a span of less than two minutes and Nicklas Lidstrom had two goals a day shy of his 40th birthday for the Red Wings.
Detroit, a Stanley Cup finalist the past two seasons, won in Arizona for the third time in the series to advance to a Western Conference second-round matchup with top-seeded San Jose.
"If you're going to go deep into the playoffs you have to be able to play well on the road and we've been able to do that in this series," Lidstrom said. "They've been a tough opponent. It took us seven games."
The Red Wings will need more road success because the Sharks have home-ice advantage in the next round. Detroit flew directly to San Jose after the game.
Vernon Fiddler scored the Coyotes' only goal on a second-period faceoff.
The names that had become so familiar to Detroit fans over the years were the instigators of the blowout.
"That's the way it's supposed to be, right?" coach Mike Babcock said. "The big guys were fantastic tonight."