The Stat Line Of The Night – 4/14/10 – Derek Morris
Even though they finished ahead in the standings and had home ice-advantage, no one was giving the Phoenix Coyotes much of a chance against the defending Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings. They are now! Especially after their performance last night, which saw the Coyotes use a relentless forecheck to stifle the Wings offense and take an early 1-0 series lead.
All season long, Phoenix has found scoring in different places, and last night was no different. Leading the charge was defenseman Derek Morris, who was reacquired by the team at the trade deadline, and the move appears to be paying dividends. Morris assisted on the Coyotes first two goals, which saw them climb back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, and just over two minutes into the third period his slap shot from the point put Phoenix ahead 3-2.
Morris and the Coyotes, backed by the raucous Jobing Arena crowd, would keep the pressure on the Wings, not allowing them to get anything going in the third, and would hold off for the one-goal victory. It was a great way for Phoenix to begin their first playoff series since 2002, but it is only the beginning. They will need three more performance like this one in order to make their fairytale story a reality.