GLENDALE, Ariz. – Todd Bertuzzi—all bruising six-foot-three, 229 pounds of him—turned figure skater in front of the Phoenix net with a spinning move that would have earned him a “10” and provided the Detroit Red Wings with their fifth win in a row.
Bertuzzi, who scored in regulation, spun in front of goalie Mike Smith, then with a backhand tap, knocked the puck into the net to give Detroit a 3-2 victory Thursday night.
Bertuzzi said he had been talking with teammate Danny Cleary before taking to the ice in the shootout. Cleary knew about the spin move.
“He told me it was probably time to break it out,” Bertuzzi said.
The finesse move finished a smashmouth game, the third time in Detroit’s winning streak that a contest has gone to a shootout. Two have been against Phoenix by identical scores.
“It was one of those gritty games where there was a lot of hitting,” Bertuzzi said. “Chicago keeps winning and so does St. Louis. In order to stay in the race, you’ve got to win.”
Ian White also scored for the NHL-leading Red Wings, and Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen each had a pair of assists.
Gilbert Brule scored his second goal in the five games since Phoenix claimed him off waivers from Edmonton. Raffi Torres scored the other goal for the Coyotes.
Kyle Chipchura had two assists for Phoenix, which was coming off a 6-2 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday night. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett praised his team’s effort, especially since it had played the previous night and lost Daymond Langkow after he took a puck to the face in the opening minute of the game.
Smith had 33 saves for Phoenix, the Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard 31.
Bertuzzi was the only one to score in the shootout, connecting in the third round.
Detroit won despite going 0 for 5 on power plays.
“Nothing’s going on,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re not getting quality chances. We’re not wearing anybody out. Our power play wasn’t good enough tonight. It hasn’t been good enough in a long time and we’ve got to fix that.”
Bertuzzi’s slap shot from the left circle put the Red Wings up 2-1 with 8:47 left in the second period. Bertuzzi’s 10th goal of the season left him one shy of 300 for his career. But Brule stepped in front of Nicklas Lidstrom to intercept a Detroit pass, flipped the puck to Chipchura, then got it back, made a shoulder fake as he sped down the ice for a breakaway goal and it was 2-2 with 4:46 left in the second.
Phoenix took the lead just 2:23 into the game on a wraparound goal by Torres, who slipped the puck just to the left of Howard.
The Red Wings, with about as many fans as the Coyotes had in the crowd of 15,067, squared it 1-1 on White’s slap shot from the right circle 1:36 into the second period.
With three minutes to go, Detroit’s Valtteri Filppula’s shot as he fell to the ice bounced off the left post, then Bertuzzi’s rebound shot bounded off the right post.
Phoenix failed to score on a power play in the overtime after Datsyuk, who had lost his stick, was called for tripping. Smith’s save denied Filppula in the final second of overtime.
Notes: Phoenix C Martin Hanzal returned after missing a dozen games with an assortment of injuries. His wife gave birth to a boy, Martin Jr., on Wednesday. … Lidstrom played in his 1,541st game, moving him into 11th on the NHL career list. … Phoenix opened a season-long six-game homestand. … Datsyuk has 38 assists.