Smith scores as Coyotes topple Wings
Smith scores as Coyotes topple Wings
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, down face first on the ice in the second period, rallied in a most improbable fashion Saturday night.
Smith scored his first career goal with one-tenth of a second remaining -- capping a run of five straight Phoenix goals -- and the Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2.
Smith gloved a soft shot by Mikael Samuelsson, dropped the puck to his stick and lofted a shot from his crease toward the Detroit blue line and it slid the final 90-plus feet into the net.
"I knew there wasn't a lot of time left," said Smith, who became the first goalie in Winnipeg Jets/Coyotes franchise history to score a goal. "I didn't think it had the legs, to be honest. It just adds to the win. It's a nice bonus."
Eleven goaltenders have been credited with a total of 14 goals in NHL history, but Smith is only the seventh to shoot the puck into the net for his score.
The goal completed a remarkable turnaround for Smith, who allowed two goals in the game's first eight-plus minutes and dropped face first to the ice after taking a hard shot off his blocker midway through the second period.
Smith remained down for approximately four minutes before regaining his skates.
Detroit scored an apparent goal while Smith was down, but play already had been whistled dead.
"I didn't know what happened to him," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. "I think they made the right call."
Mike Ribiero, Martin Hanzal and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Coyotes (5-2-2), who have at least a point in seven consecutive games.
Ribiero tied the score at 2 with 12:53 remaining after a rebound off Mikkel Boedker's long shot from the left boards fell onto his stick in the low slot.
"He's a quirky player but he can do some good things for you and you're seeing that now," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett.
Hanzal then put Phoenix in front, taking a pass from Lauri Korpikoski and wristing a shot past Howard from the inside hashmarks of the right circle only 2:01 later.
"We weren't getting pucks deep on them and they were able to get the momentum," Howard said.
Ribiero, who extended his point-scoring streak to six games, got his second goal with 6:46 to go, also off a feed from Boedker. It was Ribiero's first multi-goal game since March 6, 2012, while a member of the Dallas Stars.
The Coyotes (5-2-2), playing at home for just the third time this season, swept the two-game series against Detroit.
Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Red Wings (6-3-0), who had won four straight.
Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg wasted little time giving the Red Wings the lead. Zetterberg found Datsuyk standing at the bottom of the right circle with a sharp pass and Datsyuk fired over a scrambling Smith at 4:47 of the first period.
Bertuzzi made it 2-0 just over three minutes later, taking advantage of a Zbynek Michalek in the Coyotes zone and skating in on Smith for an unassisted goal at 8:02.
Vermette cut the lead in half at 19:00 of the second period, beating Howard for his second goal in as many nights.
"We should have been able to regroup in here and get after them and we didn't do it," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "This has been a long time coming."
NOTES: Howard returned after missing three games with a hand injury. ... Howard had started each of Detroit's first five games and entered Saturday's game 3-2-0 with a 2.39 GAA. ... Hanzal played in his 400th career game. Hanzal has one goal this season and 66 in his career. ... Detroit D Niklas Kronwall, who sustained a mild concussion on Thursday against Colorado, was scratched from the lineup on Saturday. There is no timetable set for Kronwall's return.