Caputo & Fithian

Pat Caputo: Red Wings Need To Take Care Of Coyotes As Soon As Possible

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DETROIT,MI- APRIL 13:  Radim Vrbata #17 of the Phoenix Coyotes is stopped by Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings as they play in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Joe Louis Arena on April 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

DETROIT,MI- APRIL 13: Radim Vrbata #17 of the Phoenix Coyotes is stopped by Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings as they play in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Joe Louis Arena on April 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

DETROIT — As he sat in the dressing room following his team’s 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, Red Wings’ forward Johan Franzen’s face looked like something from Mapquest.

He nose was bloodied. A piece of tissue was stuffed into one nostril. There were cuts above both eyes.

Chuck Wepner didn’t look as beaten up after going 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali back in the day.

“I was amazed he came back without any facial protection,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

The Red Wings took a two games to none lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal series Saturday, but it was a rugged game which served as a reminder that nothing is easy in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I’m not sure if the referees didn’t do the Red Wings a favor in the third period with three penalties that were called in rapid-fire succession.

One led to a power-play goal. The other to a 5-on-3, which resulted in another power-play tally by the Coyotes.

A comfortable 4-1 lead became a tight one-goal contest for the final half of the third period.

Theoaklandpress.com for more

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