The Detroit Red Wings dispatched the Desert Dogs, 6-1, in Game 7 of the first-round series at Glendale's Jobing.com Arena, a place where for stretches over the past 12 months it looked like it would no longer house an NHL franchise.
The NHL, area politicians and a bankruptcy judge helped clear the way for local ownership -- likely White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf -- to keep the team in town. Tuesday, it was Detroit's veterans like Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and rookie goalie Jimmy Howard who weren't quite as hospitable.
"It was more like a hurricane than a storm," said Dave Tippett, who replaced Wayne Gretzky as the Coyotes' coach just before the start of the preseason and led the franchise to a record 107 points. "We didn't get the pace of the game. Their players came out and we had no answer for them. They were relentless."
After Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 17 first-period shots, Datsyuk scored goals 1:41 apart early in the first period. Vernon Fiddler scored the Coyotes' lone goal off a face-off to make it a 2-1 game at 8:23 of the second period.
From there, it was all Red Wings. Lidstrom, on the eve of his 40th birthday, scored two goals -- both on the power play -- as the Red Wings eased toward victory and into a second-round rendezvous with the San Jose Sharks, the West's top seed.
"Our big guys were fantastic," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I'm not taking anything away from anybody else on our team, but the big guys really came to play. To be successful this time of year and that's what you need."
Shane Doan, whose tenure with the Coyotes stretches back to his rookie season (1995-96) when the team was still in Winnipeg, was unable to return to the lineup. He was a game-time decision, but Tippett said Doan's third-degree shoulder separation he suffered in Game 3 hadn't healed enough.
But Tippett added that it was not for the lack of trying.
"One day he tried to practice and he looked like Zorro out there," said Tippett describing how Doan was only able to use one arm effectively.