For more on today's game, check out the Game 6 preview from our Detroit blog at Winging It In Motown, and the Game 6 preview from our Phoenix blog at Five For Howling.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to close out their Western Conference quarterfinal series on home ice today, when they host the Phoenix Coyotes for Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena.
The fifth-seeded Red Wings have won the last two games of this best-of-seven series to take a 3-2 lead and move within one victory of a berth in the conference semifinals. However, if Phoenix can pick up a road win this afternoon, the clubs will meet for a decisive Game 7 Tuesday in Glendale.
Phoenix notched two wins in the first three games of this set, but the Red Wings outscored the fourth-seeded Coyotes by a combined 7-1 margin in Games 4 and 5.
The Red Wings notched a 3-0 victory on home ice in Game 4 and followed with a 4-1 decision Friday night at Phoenix. Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk scored a little more than a minute apart in the third period, leading the Red Wings to the Game 5 triumph at Jobing.com Arena.
Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit, while Jimmy Howard made 30 saves to help the Wings move one victory away from reaching the West semis for a fourth straight season.
"It's a hard-fought game out there," Zetterberg said. "They're playing real good defense. It's tough to get anything easy, you've got to work hard for it. We tried their patience. Finally we found a few ways to get a puck on net and score some goals."
Detroit is the two-time defending Western Conference champions and won the Stanley Cup two years ago before losing to Pittsburgh in seven games in last year's Cup Finals.
Ed Jovanovski scored for the Coyotes, who were again without captain Shane Doan. The forward has missed the last two contests with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 3 and will be a game-time decision for this afternoon's tilt. Doan led Phoenix with 55 points during the regular season and had a goal and an assist in this series before his injury.
Ilya Bryzgalov gave up three goals on 28 shots in Friday's loss.
"We're going to be a team that never quits. We're going to go in there and we'll be ready to go," said Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett about Game 6. "We feel like we can compete with anybody, and we'll go in there with that mindset."
Phoenix, is in the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and is trying to win its first postseason series since 1987, when the franchise was still located in Winnipeg. The Jets beat Calgary in the opening round that year before getting swept in the second round by Edmonton.
Detroit and the Coyotes are meeting in the postseason for just the third time and first since Detroit eliminated Phoenix in six games in the 1998 conference quarterfinals. Detroit also finished off Winnipeg in six games of the opening round of the 1996 playoffs.
The Coyotes and Red Wings split four regular-season meetings this year.
The Red Wings had an excellent 25-10-6 record on home ice this season, while the Coyotes were 21-15-5 as the guest this year.