Holmstrom scored three goals and had an assist to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1 on Thursday night. “We played hard and waited for openings,” said Mike Babcock, the Detroit coach. “We’re a veteran team, and we should be a patient team. We stayed under control and played our game.”
The loss snapped the Coyotes’ seven-game winning streak while the Red Wings picked up their second straight victory on the final leg of their current road trip.
“I think our players themselves are more disappointed than they have been in a long time,” said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky. “They are accustomed to winning and playing hard. I don’t think it was a lack of effort. We just did not have it.”
The Red Wings started this trip with a 9-4 loss at San Jose, which Dominik Hasek said was the team’s worst game of the season. That followed with defeats in Los Angeles and Anaheim, but the Wings recovered with a win at Colorado on Tuesday night. The Wings clearly dominated play Thursday and now return home with renewed spirits.
The hat trick was the second in Homstrom’s nine-year NHL career. Centre Pavel Datsyuk scored the other two goals.
Yanic Perreault scored the lone goal for the Coyotes.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first period with Holmstrom scoring on a power play. It was his 10th of the season and fifth with a man-advantage.
Earlier in the period, an apparent goal from the Red Wings’ Kris Draper was disallowed. After a television review, referee Gord Dywer ruled Draper redirected the puck with his skate just outside the crease.
After a scoreless second period, the Coyotes tied it on Perreault’s goal 28 seconds into the period.
The Red Wings then answered with four straight goals.
“The defence did a great job in front me,” said Hasek, who recorded his 347th regular season NHL win. “We skated well, played the puck and we were the better team. We deserved to win.”
First Holmstrom guided the puck past the goalie at 6:57. Datsyuk then beat Mikeal Tellqvist to make it 3-1. Holmstrom and Datsyuk each scored again for the final margin.
“This was real disappointing for us,” said Phoenix captain Shane Doan. “Tellqvist played a great game and gave us a chance to tie the game in the third period. We weren’t able to finish it off.”
Notes: It was Holmstrom’s first two-goal game of the season. … With their game in Phoenix, the Red Wings concluded a five-game road trip, their longest of the season. … The Red Wings converted three of their 10 power play chances.