GLENDALE, Ariz. – Enver Lisin’s speed is paying dividends for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Lisin scored a pair of third-period goals and the Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 on Tuesday night, their first home win against Detroit in almost five years. “It’s a more important part of the game, the skating,” Lisin said. “I focus on it and I’m very happy I have the speed.”
Ed Jovanovski snapped a 3-3 tie on a power-play goal with 17:54 left, one-timing a shot from the right faceoff circle past Ty Conklin for his second goal in three games.
Lisin scored an insurance goal with 13:11 to go when he batted down a waist-high pass and raced behind everyone except Jiri Hudler. Lisin pulled the puck past Hudler on a backhand move and fired a shot between Conklin’s pads while falling to the ice to make it 5-3.
“I try to do that move in practice,” Lisin said. “I like that move and wanted to do it in a game and it worked.”
Lisin capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:44 to play.
“He’s a special athlete,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “Here was a guy who came over and we knew he had incredible talent. I know there are a lot of fast skaters but don’t know if there is any faster than he is.”
Derek Morris had a goal and an assist, and Keith Yandle and Olli Jokinen also scored for the Coyotes, who won for the fifth time in seven games and beat Detroit at home for the first time since January 24, 2004.
Shane Doan had a pair of assists for Phoenix, which moved past Anaheim into sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference entering the all-star break.
“It’s almost a bad time for a break because we’re playing as well as we have in a long time,” Gretzky said. “I think a year ago we would have found a way to lose that game but maturity and want and will to win – we’ve really come a long way here.”
Niklas Lidstrom had a pair of power-play goals and Mikael Samuelsson also scored on the power play for the Red Wings, who lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season.
Lidstrom tied Brian Leetch in eighth place for power-play goals by a defenceman with 111.
“We gave away too many gifts,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. “We gifted like three goals and you can’t do that. We had lots of chances. We just went through two pages of scoring chances but you’ve got to play without the puck, too.”
Samuelsson gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 9:59 of the first when he slid a shot from the bottom of the left circle just inside the near post. Morris tied the game 1-1 at 15:07 when he one-timed Doan’s backhand pass off the boards past Conklin from the top of the left circle.
Phoenix took its first lead, 2-1, at 4:09 of the second period when he corralled Lidstrom’s poor clearing pass from the goal line and scored on a one-timer from just above the inside hashes of the left circle. Lidstrom atoned from the error at 7:14 with his first goal, a wrist shot from just inside the top of the left faceoff circle at the very moment a two-man advantage for Detroit expired, tying the game at two.
The Coyotes regained the lead at 15:19 of the period. Martin Hanzal poked the puck away from Marian Hossa at the Phoenix blue line, fought off the Detroit right wing to leave a pass for Daniel Carcillo when then found an open Jokinen in the low right slot for the one-timer.
“I tried to hold the puck and look for somebody to get open,” Hossa said. “I was the last guy on the play. I thought it was one-on-one until I turned and saw three guys. It’s my fault. I should have put the puck down deep.”
Lidstrom made it 3-3 with 5.1 seconds left in the second period on a blast from just inside the blue line past a partially screened Bryzgalov.
“We desperately need the points and I think everybody knows this,” said Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who made 34 saves.
Notes: Babcock said Detroit centre Pavel Datsyuk left the game after his first shift of the third period with a hip pointer. … Lidstrom trails former Red Wings standout Larry Murphy by three goals for seventh place on the all-time list. Ray Bourque is the career leader in power-play goals by a defenceman with 173. … Detroit defenceman Chris Chelios was whistled for high-sticking on a delayed penalty in the second period but the officials, apparently forgetting who the call was against, didn’t stop play until the Coyotes touched the puck. … Phoenix defenceman Ken Klee played in his 900th career game. Doan also reached that plateau this year, marking the first time the Coyotes have had two players reach the mark in the same season since Jeremy Roenick and Teppo Numminen in 2000-01. Klee has 54 goals, 137 assists and 191 penalty minutes with seven different teams. … A Detroit fan threw an octopus onto the ice after Samuelsson’s goal. A second octopus hit the ice following Lisin’s empty-netter and a third with 5.5 seconds left, possibly because fans didn’t want to take home their soggy, smuggled cephalopods.