With a 1-0 lead late in the 2nd the Phoenix Coyotes looked on track for another tight game against the Chicago Blackhawks. With the ghosts of the previous 3 games in their minds where the Hawks came back late to tie up the game and send it into overtime, they went into the intermission being solidly outclassed on the shot chart. Down on that count 27-8 at that point Mike Smith was absolutely insane in net, robbing the Blackhawks and frustrating them at every turn. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had scored on a suddenly awake power play on the Coyotes 6th shot midway through the second. Everything looked like the team would play just well enough to get to overtime again.
And then they set the script on fire.
Coming out in the 3rd it was the Coyotes that looked like they had the will to take over the game and not the offensively talented Hawks. Just a couple minutes into the period Gilbert Brule pushed the lead to two with a nifty pass from Kyle Chipchura from behind the net. The Coyotes would largely weather the storm for the heart of the period until Jimmy Hayes made an awful hit on Michal Rozsival from behind right in the numbers. Rozsival was down on the ice for a couple minutes and would leave the game which leaving blood all over the ice. Hayes was given a 5 minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Even then the Hawks looked like they might be able to come back getting a couple of chances right as the major started. The Coyotes eventually settled the puck down and were able to set up a decent power play. they would cash in late in the major with :42 remaining as Antoine Vermette but a rebound past Crawford on the left side.
They weren't done yet though as Kyle Chipchurra got in on things just two minutes later as the Hawks just left him alone right in the middle of the slot. Chipchurra found the puck and whipped it past Crawford making it look easy.
The goals were one thing, but through two periods the story was all Mike Smith. Smith once again came up huge. He made highlight reel save after highlight reel save and absolutely frustrated the Blackhawks. You could see the disbelief on their faces by the end of the second.
The Coyotes finally get the second round berth they've been after since landing here in the Valley and should start up against the Predators sometime this weekend.
Our Three Stars:
1. Mike Smith
2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
3. Mike Smith
The Five Recap:
1. Clear the zone. This is how Chicago scores their goals, they get deep and the Yotes can’t clear the zone. If they can clear the zone Chicago will probably stay off the scoreboard that often. We Win
2. Shoot everything. Crawford lets in soft goals, might as well let him let in a few soft goals tonight. We Win
3. Play against the energy. The Coyotes did this well the first two games in Chicago, taking all their energy and fueling their game with it. We Win
4. Clog up the neutral zone. Its going to limit their scoring opportunities and frustrate them. Its one of the great things the Yotes have been doing all series. We Win
5. Just win. Regular time, overtime, triple overtime, just win the game. We Win
Comment of the night: By Timmyhate