Coyotes Stun Red Wings in Final Second|
By Ray Van Horn, Jr. Copyright 1999
In possibly the ugliest loss of the season at Joe Louis Arena, the green-clad Phoenix Coyotes benefited from the luck of St. Patrick's Day with a last second goal by Keith Tkachuk to give his team a thrilling 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
At the beginning of the game, the slow play indicated wariness on both sides. A notably penalty-free first period saw the Coyotes and Red Wings methodically feel one another out, even with quick scores by each team.
Detroit jumped on the board at 1:38 with a soft tapper past Mikhail Shtalenkov by Vyacheslav Kozlov, who was set up by Igor Larionov and Doug Brown. Kozlov and Larionov, who had 16 and 20 points in their last 16 games, each picked up more points--Kozlov, his 20th goal of the season, and Larionov, his 41st assist. They would find each other again later in the game.
Phoenix returned the favor at 5:58 from a long shot on goal from Mike Stapleton--his 7th on the year. His shot trickled through Mike Sullivan's legs, whose failure to be checked by the Red Wing defense allowed safe passage of the biscuit past a confused Norm Maracle guarding Detroit's net. After the two scores, the teams stepped up the action.
A three party brawl ensued in the second period--highlighted by Martin LaPointe's trashing of Phoenix's Steve Leach. LaPointe received a two minute minor on top of a 10 minute misconduct. Greg Adams quickly avenged his bruised comrade by faking out Maracle and blooping through his 15th goal at 7:21, giving Phoenix a 2-1 lead.
Detroit scored twice in the second, the first triggered by a Nicklas Linstrom power play blast at 10:28, his 11th for the year. Steve Yzerman picked up the assist.
Kozlov and Larionov hooked up again, along with Aaron Ward, as Kozlov deked and cut back on a beaten Shtalenkov for his second goal of the game. At the end of the period, it appeared as if the 3-2 leading Red Wings were in firm control.
So it seemed...
The Coyotes tied the game at 3:55 in the third off of a won face-off from Bob Corkum to Teppo Numminen, who immediately jumped on the pass for a quick slapshot. It was Numminen's 10th goal this year.
The back-breaker for the Red Wings was a disallowed goal coming at 4:22 from Doug Brown. The goal was overruled as the line official detected Steve Yzerman's skate in Shtalenkov's crease upon the score. It gave Shtalenkov and the Coyotes a breath of relief. Shtalenkov would finish the game with 28 saves.
The door slammed shut on Detroit, as the fearsome tag team of Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk victimized the stymied Norm Maracle--who was sporadically tough throughout the game--with 1.5 ticks left on the clock. Tkachuk picked up his 28th goal and Roenick grabbed his 40th assist.
The Coyotes snatched a valuable road win, as they were 3-11-3 in their previous 17 road games.
Copyright©1999 The HockeyNut