for this game

Red Wings take Game 4, sweep Coyotes

Apr 21, 2011 - 7:06 AM
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Danny Cleary scored the go-ahead goal with 6:19 remaining in Game 4, as the Detroit Red Wings took down the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-3, to complete the series sweep in this Western Conference quarterfinal.

Cleary also had two assists and Patrick Eaves added two goals for the Red Wings, who also ousted Phoenix in seven games during the first round of the 2010 postseason.

Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which got a goal apiece from Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall and suffered no shortage of offense despite the absences of Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

"We wanted to win tonight to get a few guys some rest," Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "Getting those guys the extra days to get healthy is going to be big for us."

Jimmy Howard made 24 saves for the third-seeded Red Wings, who are the first team to advance in this year's playoffs.

Taylor Pyatt, Shane Doan and Martin Hanzal lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who have never won a postseason series since moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996.

Phoenix has lost 18 times in its 20 all-time playoff matchups dating back to the franchise's days as the Jets. The club hasn't advanced past the opening round since Winnipeg bested Calgary in the 1987 Smythe Division semifinals.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 34 saves in what could have been the team's last game in the desert. The Coyotes, whose day-to-day operations are controlled by the league, could be relocating due to unresolved ownership issues.

"Detroit was the better team and they won," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said disappointedly before talking about long-term goals. "I really want this organization to take the next step and get better, and not come into a series where you feel like you're behind the eight ball before you start. You have to have stability in the ownership and build an organization that expects to play for a championship."

With the score tied at 3-3, Cleary scored from almost an impossible angle. Cleary gathered the puck along the left boards near the line and found himself uncovered. He decided to fire the puck on net. Bryzgalov seemed to have his skate and pad along the post, but the disc found a small opening and bounced off the back of the goaltender's leg. The puck trickled past the line for a 4-3 Detroit lead.

Just over two minutes later, Bertuzzi found the back of the net to take the life out of Phoenix. And Eaves sent the Coyotes packing for good with an empty-net goal.

Holmstrom put home a great pass from Pavel Datsyuk at the 3:47 mark of the first period to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.

Phoenix tied the game at the 5:46 mark. Pyatt's cross-ice pass caught Jonathan Ericsson's skate and trickled past Howard.

Doan's goal near the midway point of the opening frame gave the Coyotes a 2-1 edge.

The back-and-forth battle continued when Eaves found the back of the net for Detroit with 1:13 left. Darren Helm made a big hit behind the net and carried the puck to the side of Bryzgalov. He made a quick pass across the crease for Eaves, whose tip-in made it 2-2.

The first power-play goal came at the 1:09 mark of the second. Radim Vrbata carried the puck into the slot before passing to the left side of the net for Hanzal, whose wrister gave Phoenix a 3-2 margin.

Kronwall scored on the power play for the Red Wings at the 4:49 mark to make it 3-3. Kronwall collected a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrister into the top right corner of the net.

Game Notes

Detroit has won all four of its playoff meetings against the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise...Zetterberg missed all four games of this series with an MCL sprain in his left knee. Franzen was a late scratch with an ankle injury...Derek Morris missed all four games for Phoenix with an upper body injury...Bryzgalov was torched for 17 goals in the series.