DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk scored and added two assists in the first period alone — including a marvelous move to set up a goal by Darren Helm — and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Detroit already led 2-0 when Datsyuk poked the puck past a Phoenix player in the neutral zone and skated in on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Datsyuk pulled the puck back between his legs before flipping a shot from close range that was saved. Helm was there for an easy goal on the rebound.
Datsyuk added another assist early in the second period for his first career four-point game in the playoffs. Brian Rafalski and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, and Nicklas Lidstrom had two assists. Shane Doan scored twice for Phoenix, which nearly rallied from a four-goal deficit thanks to a suddenly potent power play.
The Red Wings were again without Henrik Zetterberg, who has been out with a left knee injury after leading the team in scoring during the regular season. Phoenix's Derek Morris was out with an upper body injury, and fellow defenseman Ed Jovanovski was unable to finish the game for the Coyotes because of his own upper body injury.
Detroit's Johan Franzen had his 13-game postseason point streak snapped. He left early in the first after crashing into the boards. Franzen appeared to lose his balance just before being hit by Doan, and it looked like he had blood on his face as he departed.
He came back in the second period with a bandage on his forehead, and he appeared to have cotton in his nose.
There was no penalty when Franzen was hurt, but Detroit scored two power-play goals later in the first. Datsyuk contributed the first on a wrist shot through traffic with 9:18 left. Then Rafalski made it 2-0 with a shot from just inside the blue line.
The teams were at even strength when Datsyuk pulled off his nifty moves that led to Helm's goal. When the goal was announced, the crowd roared louder for the Russian's assist than for the goal scorer.
Early in the second, Datsyuk stick-handled free in the slot and shot wide, but Holmstrom tipped in Valtteri Filppula's shot seconds later to make it 4-0.
Datsyuk wasn't done. He made an abrupt stop inside the Phoenix zone to free himself before making a perfect pass to Filppula, whose shot from in close was stopped. Then Datsyuk found himself alone with the puck after a careless turnover by the Coyotes in their own zone, but he was unable to convert.
The Coyotes nearly came back by scoring three power-play goals — they had gone 0 for 6 with the advantage in the opening game. Radim Vrbata scored with 12:58 left in the second, and Doan set up in front of Howard and backhanded in a rebound to make it 4-2 with 14:11 to play in the third.
Detroit then took a pair of quick penalties, giving Phoenix a two-man advantage. The Red Wings almost killed it off, but Doan scored from just above the slot with 11:23 to play to cut the deficit to one.
Detroit showed more discipline after that and held on to win its 55th straight playoff game when scoring at least four goals.
Notes: Franzen and Doan took coincidental minors for roughing with 1:29 left in the second. ... One octopus appeared to land on the ice right before the game started. The Red Wings say the league prohibits throwing objects onto the ice and anyone caught doing so could be subject to prosecution for violating local and state laws.
(This version CORRECTS to Helm's goal on 2nd reference to Datsyuk play in 8th paragraph.)