As the Arizona Coyotes faced the Chicago Blackhawks, they hoped that they could extend the Hawks' three game losing streak. The Yotes had won three of four, and lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.
First period all Hawks
The Blackhawks came ready to play, and at 5:46 Marian Hossa had a breakaway but was stopped by Mike Smith. The one method to being able to beat the Hawks is to not give them power play opportunities, even if they had gone 1 for 20 in their recent attempts. Sooner or later a good team will break that drought.
The Coyotes didn't execute on the penalty kill when Alex Goligoski got called for high sticking at 8:29. It took the potent Chicago power play just 15 seconds to score when Patrick Kane blasted a shot from the right face off circle up high and over Smith's left shoulder.
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Then, just 1:12 later they scored again to take a two goal lead when Ryan Hartman's slapshot from the right point found its' way by Smith. Goligoski broke his stick behind the Arizona net and Shane Doan loaned him his stick, but by then the puck was in the net.
Chicago wasn't done yet. They received another power play chance when Michael Stone was called for holding at 13:08. This time Marian Hossa's speed paid off as he broke through and by Goligoski to score.
The chants of "let's go Hawks" rang though out the sellout crowd. The frustration facing the Coyotes came to a head when Luke Schenn and Andrew Desjardins got into a brawl. Schenn received two minutes for instigating, five for fighting and a ten minute misconduct.
The Hawks went to the dressing room with a commanding 3-0 lead.
Second stanza all Coyotes
The story of the second period was penalties. The Coyotes had a five on three power play when Jonathan Toews sat down for two on a trip at :10. Just nine seconds later, Artem Anisimov was called for delay of game.
The Coyotes managed to cut the lead to two by scoring a power play goal of their won own at 1:36 by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. When one compares the Chicago power play to Arizona's, it is quite a contrast. Chicago's adept passing and movement creates more opportunities.
The Coyotes power play on the other hand seemed predictable and lacked movement. They did manage to get one by Corey Crawford this time after repeatedly feeding Radim Vrbata, their leading scorer.
Chicago answered back at 5:24 when after a Ryan White turnover. The Hawks' Artemi Panarin fired a rocket from the left face off circle which Smith could not stop. The Hawks had back their three goal lead once again.
The Coyotes caught on fire by tallying two goals in 1:27 to trail by just a goal. The first goal was scored by Christian Dvorak with helpers from Doan, and Brendan Perlini. The second goal was scored by Perlini from the right boards with Alex Goligoski screening Crawford nicely.
All of a sudden the game was a one goal game. The Coyotes outshot the visiting Chicago club 14-6 and showed some comeback to stun the confident Blackhawks.
Third period standoff
The Blackhawks got called for their third delay of game penalty at 6:20 when Desjardins shot it over the glass. Toews almost scored on a short handed attempt, but was stymied by Smith.
Chicago played a good road game this period in that they knew they were ahead, and protected their fragile lead.
The chance the Coyotes had to tie the game came at 6:20 when Desjardins was called for holding the stick. The Blackhawks weathered that penalty kill successfully to hold their lead 4-3.
With 1:22 remaining in the game, Smith was pulled from his goal to gain the extra attacker, but was forced back into his cage 17 seconds later with a faceoff near his blueline.
The Yotes had all kinds of difficulty getting out of their own zone, and Smith started heading to the bench at one point, and Chicago almost got one by him.
The Coyotes didn't really threaten much from that point, to assure Chicago of their 31st win of the season.
The loss was another heart breaker for the Coyotes, and they now must head on the road to face San Jose on Saturday before coming home for two games against Montreal and Pittsburgh.