The first period was all about the Red Wings. Both Red Wings goals came in the first period. The first of those goals was center Pavel Datsyuk with assists from center Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson at 4:47. The second came just over 4 minutes later unassisted from right wing Todd Bertuzzi.
That was about the end of the Red Wings offense.
The tide would not begin to turn until 19 minutes into the Second Period when Coyotes center Antoine Vermette would send one past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard with the assists from left wing Rob Klinkhammer and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
After that, it was all about the Coyotes.
Center Mike Ribeiro would score 2 goals in the final frame; the first at 5:07 with assists from right wing Mikkel Boedker and defenseman Derek Morris, and the second at 13:14 with the assist again from Boedker and left wing David Moss.
Then would come the goal of the night; the goal from the goaltender.
Red Wings RW Mikael Samuelsson would get the puck back into the Coyotes defensive zone. Smith would make the save and set the puck back on the ice. In one fluid motion, he would send he puck flying down the ice. Unhindered by anything, or anyone, the puck would soar into the center of the empty net. The entire crowd was on their feet cheering on their goaltender’s unassisted net to net goal. To make things even sweeter, there were only .1 seconds on the clock when the puck crossed the line.
Just in case you missed it the first time, here is a look at the goal.
Smith is the 11th goaltender to be credited with a goal in the regular season or Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last goaltender to do so was Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils. There are only two goalies that have scored more than once; Brodeur with three and former Flyers goalie Ron Hextall.
“I don’t know what to say, really,” Smith said. “Obviously I’m thrilled with the way we played. It’s just a bonus to be able to score a goal in this league as a goaltender. We did a lot of really good things tonight against a good hockey team.” ~ via ESPN.com
In addition to his goal, Smith was able to make 31 Saves on 33 Shots with a Save Percentage of .939.
For Coyotes fans, there could be no better ending. If you’re a Red Wings fan, this was probably the icing on a 3 week old cake that no one really wanted to begin with.
Next up for the Coyotes, they open the doors to the Jobing.com Arena to host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.. The Red Wings will head home to the Joe Louis Arena to face the San Jose Sharks on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars of the Game: