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.