DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings didn’t play well, just well enough.
Dan Cleary’s power-play goal completed Detroit’s third-period comeback, and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist to lift the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.
Pavel Datsyuk also scored for NHL-leading Detroit, and Brian Rafalski had two assists. Chris Osgood made 24 saves.
“We started fine, but we got casual,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Daniel Winnik and Fredrik Sjostrom scored for Phoenix, and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 36 shots.
“They’re a good team,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said of the Red Wings. “Our guys worked real hard and we cycled well down low.”
Zetterberg tied it 2-2 just 39 seconds into the third period when he chipped in a loose puck from a goal-mouth scramble for his 17th. It fluttered over Bryzgalov and landed in the net.
“I tried to get it on net, and it took a funny bounce and bounced into the net,” Zetterberg said.
Cleary broke the tie at 9:04 when he beat Bryzgalov high to the glove side with a one-timed shot from the left circle. It was Cleary’s ninth goal and second in two games.
Jiri Hudler made the pass from along the goal line.
“Me and Jiri have been practising that play all season,” Cleary said. “It kind of popped out to him and he made a nice little pass and I wanted to get it on net and high. Bryzgalov’s a big goalie, he takes up a lot of the bottom of the net.”
He also said Detroit got back to the way it normally plays in the third period.
“We all know what we’re capable of if we stick to the game plan and do what we’re told and work our system,” Cleary said. “We did that in the third period.”
Phoenix scored twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.
Winnik made it 1-1 at 5:17 of the second period when he capitalized on Detroit defenceman Andreas Lilja’s giveaway deep in the Red Wings zone. Winnik took the puck, skated in on Osgood, made a fake and put a forehand shot high into the net for his third goal.
Sjostrom gave the Coyotes the lead with 5:40 left in the second period when he put the rebound of a carom off the backboards past Osgood.
“We played OK 5-on-5,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “We got beat on specialty teams.”
Detroit took a 1-0 lead on Datsyuk’s power-play goal 7:46 into the game. His attempted pass deflected in off the skate of Phoenix defenceman Keith Ballard for his ninth of the season.
Bryzgalov, in his seventh consecutive start, dropped his third straight decision after winning the first four once he was claimed off waivers from Anaheim. He was pulled on Friday night after allowing five goals on seven shots in the Coyotes’ 6-1 loss at Chicago.
In his first five games with Phoenix, Bryzgalov was 4-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average, and had allowed eight goals on 137 shots.
Notes: Phoenix D Ed Jovanovski returned after serving a one-game suspension for hitting Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik in the head. … Detroit C Kris Draper (sprained knee), and LW Kirk Maltby (back) both missed their second games. … Coyotes RW Radim Vrbata didn’t play because of a groin injury. … Detroit LW Matt Ellis returned after missing three games due to headaches. … Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky’s father, Walter, attended the game.