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NHL: Detroit 5, Phoenix 2

Dec. 8, 2011 at 11:16 PM

DETROIT, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Todd Bertuzzi touched off an overwhelming five-goal first period Thursday, sending the Detroit Red Wings coasting to a 5-2 victory over Phoenix.

Bertuzzi scored 1:16 into the contest, Valtteri Filppula tallied less than a minute later and the Red Wings then got goals from Tomas Holmstrom, Darren Helm and Jiri Hudler to deliver an early knockout punch.

Detroit ended a two-game losing streak and handed the Coyotes their first loss in three games.

Jimmy Howard made 30 saves for the Red Wings and did not give up a goal until Radim Vrbata came through on a slap shot with 4:45 to go in the second period.

Mike Smith gave up four goals on 11 shots before being removed in favor of Jason LaBarbera, who allowed one goal on 21 shots.

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