DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings did all of the work in the first period and coasted for the final 40 minutes.
Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler both had a goal and assist, and Detroit scored five times in the first period of its 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.
“Real good start for us. We got them on their heels right away. I thought the guys really had jump,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I would have liked to seen us sustain the game better than we did, but we got good goaltending out of Howie (Jimmy Howard) in the second and the third.”
Todd Bertuzzi, Tomas Holmstrom, Darren Helm also scored for Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg had two assists each, and Howard made 30 saves. The Red Wings scored on their first two shots of the game.
“I think we got a really good start, and then were able to keep the lead and win. That’s the main thing,” said Filppula, who returned after missing Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues because of a deep cut on his right shin.
Filppula played while wearing a kevlar sock on Thursday.
Datsyuk left in the second period because of an undisclosed lower body injury and didn’t return.
“We knew he was a bit sore going into the game, didn’t get sore or anything like that. He’ll be fine,” Babcock said of Datsyuk. “We’ll probably give him (Friday) off and go from there.”
Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal scored for Phoenix. Mike Smith stopped seven shots before being replaced late in the first period by Jason LaBarbera, who made 20 saves.
“The puck dropped, and we made four or five key mistakes early, and they jumped on us,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
The Red Wings led 2-0 less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
Bertuzzi scored from the slot at 1:16 as his shot deflected off the skate of Phoenix defenceman Derek Morris for his second goal. Filppula netted his ninth at 2:09 when he put a shot past Smith from in front of the net.
Holmstrom converted a rebound for a power-play goal with 5:14 left in the opening period. Helm scored his fourth of the season just 43 seconds later, sending Smith to the bench in favour of LaBarbera.
Hudler added his fourth goal with 42 seconds left in the first.
“Nothing really to take away from that other than we have to be better to start the game,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan said.
Vrbata’s 14th of the season put Phoenix on the board with 4:45 left in the second period. Hanzal added his fourth goal, on the power play, with 8:28 left.
NOTES: Phoenix D Rositslav Klesla missed his third game because of a lower body injury. … The Red Wings have outscored opponents 15-0 in the first period over the last nine games. They last allowed a goal in the opening period on Nov. 19. … Detroit hadn’t scored five goals in the first period since Feb, 7, 2009. . Coyotes D Michal Roszival returned after missing all but the season opener with an upper-body injury. He played 14:27 over 16 shifts and was minus-1.