The Detroit Red Wings spoiled the big party in Arizona, bringing the Phoenix Coyotes back to Earth with a resounding thud in a 6-1 rout in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night.
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice in a span of less than two minutes and Nicklas Lidstrom had two goals a day shy of his 40th birthday for the Red Wings. Detroit, a Stanley Cup finalist the past two seasons, won in Arizona for the third time in the series to advance to a Western Conference second-round matchup with top-seeded San Jose.
Vernon Fiddler scored the Coyotes' only goal on a second-period faceoff.
The fifth-seeded Red Wings bombarded goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from the start, outshooting Phoenix 50-33, including 39-21 in the first two periods. Bryzgalov held on through a scoreless first period, but Detroit scored four goals in the second en route to its first Game 7 win on the road in 46 years.
Jimmy Howard made 32 saves for the Red Wings.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan, the only player still around who was on the team when Phoenix last made the playoffs in 2002, missed his fourth straight game with an upper body injury.
The Red Wings had blown a chance to clinch the series at home on Sunday, when the fourth-seeded Coyotes won 5-2. That set up the decisive game in Glendale, where a capacity white-clad crowd anticipated something much different than the Detroit drubbing that unfolded before them.
It was an anticlimactic ending for a team that opened its training camp without an owner or coach.
The Coyotes still are owned by the NHL, which bought the team out of bankruptcy and is trying to work out a sale to a group headed by Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf.
After beginning the season playing in a mostly empty arena, the Coyotes kept winning, setting a franchise record for victories and points under coach Dave Tippett. The crowds kept growing, and by the time the season ended it was a loud, raucous environment.
None of that mattered to the veteran Red Wings, who outshot Phoenix 17-6 in the first period. Bryzgalov somehow deflected several drives from point-blank range, but it was only a matter of time for Detroit.
Datsyuk scored a power-play goal barely 2 minutes into the second period, then 1:41 later, he took a brilliant pass from Henrik Zetterberg for a breakaway goal and it was 2-0.
Fiddler's unassisted goal, on a faceoff with Datsyuk, brought the crowd back to life for a short while. The puck went under Datsyuk and between the legs of Howard to make it 2-1 with 11:37 left in the second period. But Lidstrom's slap shot from in front made it 3-1. In a play that exemplified the game, Phoenix failed to get a shot off in 1:12 of a two-man advantage, and Brad Stuart scored seconds after coming out of the penalty box to make it 4-1 just 5 seconds before the second period ended.
Todd Bertuzzi and Lidstrom added third-period goals to complete the blowout. Phoenix was 0 of 5 on power plays to Detroit's 3 of 6.
NOTES: Datsyuk has won the Selke Award for the league's best defensive forward the past two years and is a finalist again this season. ... Detroit improved to 2-5 in its last seven games when facing elimination. ... The Red Wings were 3-0-1 against San Jose in the regular season. ... Phoenix was 0 of 23 on power plays in Games 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7. ... Detroit's previous Game 7 win on the road was at Chicago in the Stanley Cup semifinals in 1964.