GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings haven’t changed much on their power play, still making good passes, setting up quality scoring chances.
The difference now from a few weeks ago is that the shots are going in. Obviously, it’s a huge difference.
Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s second power-play goal of the game in the third period and had an assist, lifting the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the reeling Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.
“We’re doing a lot of good things even though we don’t score on each and every one, it definitely feels like we’ve got some things going,” Datsyuk said.
Coming off consecutive road wins over Anaheim, the Red Wings needed their power play to come through after Phoenix rallied to take a 2-1 lead.
Datsyuk helped set up the first one, getting the second assist on Johan Franzen’s tying goal in the second period. Datsyuk then put Detroit ahead by beating Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera with a one-timer midway through the third period, giving him 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in eight games.
The goals stretched the Red Wings’ string of scoring on the power play to eight straight games since they failed on 13 straight chances over six games.
Ian White also had a goal for Detroit, which has won five of six and is fifth in the Western Conference.
“It’s just little things,” Detroit left wing Henrik Zetterberg “I don’t think we changed that much. It’s just that when the puck goes in, you gain confidence.”
Phoenix doesn’t have much of that left.
Caught in a stretch where they’re struggling and seeming to get one bad break after another, the Coyotes committed many of the same mistakes they made in losing the previous five games.
Phoenix fell behind early again, lost the lead after fighting back and failed on a chance to tie with about 4 minutes left, when Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson stopped Lauri Korpikoski for one of his 29 saves.
Martin Hanzal and Rob Klinkhammer scored for Phoenix, which has lost six straight for the first time since 2009 to fall to 12th in the Western Conference.
“I’m a big believer that you earn your breaks and you earn your confidence, and right now we’re not doing those things,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
The Coyotes thought they had reached the low point of the season on Friday, losing 2-1 to Vancouver at home.
Frustrated after another slow start and rally that came up short, they spent nearly 25 minutes after the game holding a players-only meeting and grim-faced captain Shane Doan said afterward that every player had to be held accountable.
Phoenix had two days to get things straightened out in practice and vowed to be better.
They weren’t early against Detroit, allowing the Red Wings to repeatedly set up in front of LaBarbera’s crease in the opening minutes.
White took advantage of the traffic 4 minutes into the game, firing a shot from the point that LaBarbera had trouble seeing.
The Coyotes had a great chance less than a minute later, but, fitting the way things have gone for them lately, David Moss’ shot from the right circle hit the post, shot across the crease and bounced off the other post.
But the Coyotes have been a resilient bunch — they’ve made the playoffs without an owner three straight years — and fought back quickly.
Creating good scoring chances and getting some big rebounds off Gustavsson, Phoenix tied the game on a power play midway through the first period on a nifty redirect by Hanzal on a shot by Radim Vrbata.
Klinkhammer scored later in the period on one of multiple rebounds, giving the Coyotes their first lead since beating the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on March 12.
It didn’t last.
Franzen tied it on a power play in the closing seconds of the second period, one-timing a shot from the slot on a pass from Niklas Kronwall.
Datsyuk then put Detroit up with a power-play goal midway through the third period, punching in his 11th of the season on a pass from Zetterberg behind the net caromed through the crease.
The Coyotes turned up the pressure in a final flurry, but couldn’t beat Gustavsson to reach another low point without much time to dig out with three straight road games coming up and 16 total left in the season.
“It was a tough one,” Hanzal said. “We had the lead after the first and they came back. You’ve got to start winning some games on the road, stop talking and do it on the ice.”
Note: LaBarbera got the start after No. 1 goalie Mike Smith suffered an upper-body injury against Vancouver on Friday. … Kronwall played his 500th career NHL game and scored his 240th point, passing Paul Coffey for seventh in team history among defensemen. … Moss returned after missing two games with a lower-body injury. … Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson attended the game. … Detroit is 7-2-2 its past 11 regular-season games against Phoenix.