Phoenix Coyotes Beat Detroit Red Wings in Hockey Town but Lose One at Home; Lead Series 2-1; Next Game: Tomorrow Night

The Phoenix Coyotes split two playoff games over the weekend -- including a big win in Detroit -- to lead the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 heading into the fourth game of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The Coyotes dropped a heartbreaker at home on Friday night, losing 7-4 to the Wings in Glendale, but they regained the series lead on Sunday, winning 4-2 in Detroit.

Friday's game, despite the 7-4 final score, was much more evenly match than the score would indicate.

The Coyotes lead the game until about halfway through the second period, both teams seemed to start scoring at will.

Five goals were scored within four minutes of each other in the second period, unfortunately for the Coyotes, three of them were Detroit goals and the game went into the third period tied at three.

In the third period, the Coyotes defense was useless. The Red Wings scored four goals including an empty-net goal late in the game by Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg -- giving him the hat trick.

Despite the loss, Shane Doan was still a headhunting maniac and aside laying people out the entire game, he's slowly remembering how to score.

Doan had six, big hits in Friday's game -- adding to the nine he bone-rattling checks he threw  in the first game of the series -- and scored the Coyotes final goal.

On Sunday, we were a little worried about how the Coyotes would handle a playoff game in Hockey Town USA -- chock-full-o the most obnoxious fans in the NHL -- but the Howlers put an end to our concerns almost immediately after the puck was dropped.

Coyotes forward Sami Lepisto scored about 30 seconds into the game, and the Yotes went on to dominate the rest of the game, winning 4-2.

Doan, again, is the big story out of Sunday's game after suffering an injury after tripping over Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard and crashing into the boards early in the second period. He didn't return to the game and his status will be announced later today.

Vernon Fiddler also suffered an injury that took him out of the game midway through the second period, but the loss of the two stars didn't stop the Coyotes from dominating the Red Wings on their own ice.

"They just got better," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said after the game. "With no Fiddler and no Doan, they had the puck more than we did."

Game four of the series is Tuesday. The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona. For more info on the Coyotes, click here

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