Coyotes Beat Blackhawks In OT, Take 3-1 Lead In Series
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CHICAGO (AP)—Mikkel Boedker scored in overtime for the second straight game and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Thursday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Boedker skated ahead of defenseman Nick Leddy and shoveled the puck under goalie Corey Crawford at 2:15 in the fourth straight game that has gone to an extra period.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Arizona.
Michael Frolik’s tap-in from the left side with 1:26 left in regulation tied it and marked the third time in four games the Blackhawks rallied to force overtime after pulling Crawford for an extra attacker.
Shane Doan and Taylor Pyatt scored 44 seconds apart to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the third. But Brendan Morrison, making his first appearance in the series, scored to make it 2-1 and send what had been a quiet United Center crowd into a frenzy.
Doan stripped the puck from Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, made a nice cross-ice pass to Ray Whitney and then scored on a rebound of Whitney’s shot at 7:03 of the third. The Coyotes struck again quickly when Antoine Vermette got the puck near the boards and made a nice feed to Pyatt.
Phoenix dominated play early in the final period. After being outshot 23-10 through the first two periods, the Coyotes had eight shots on goal to just one for the Blackhawks in the first 10 minutes. But then Morrison scored on a long slap shot from the right circle that appeared to hit a Coyotes’ stick before flying past Mike Smith’s glove and into the goal.
The Blackhawks played without star right wing Marian Hossa, who was driven to the ice and carried off on a stretcher in Game 3 after a shoulder-to-head hit from the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres.
Torres was suspended indefinitely Wednesday and was scheduled for a hearing with the league Friday. The Blackhawks were already without rookie forward Andrew Shaw, who drew a five-game suspension for knocking Smith to the ice in Game 2. And there is no timetable for the return of Hossa, who led the team in regular-season points with 77.
Smith, who made 30 saves, stopped 11 shots in the opening period and shut off an early Chicago power play. Phoenix’s Keith Yandle hit the pipe with one of his late attempts and the Coyotes got off only five shots in the scoreless first.
A minute into the second period, the Blackhawks’ Brent Seabrook lost the puck, Radim Vrbata picked it up and fed Whitney, whose point-blank shot on a breakaway was stopped by Crawford.
Smith later stopped a breakaway by Frolik and the crowd at the United Center erupted when the puck slipped into the net — but after the whistle had blown. Minutes later, Smith snuffed a point-blank tip-in attempt by Bryan Bickell.
Notes: For the second straight game, the Coyotes were without center Martin Hanzal and left wing Lauri Korpikoski, both of whom were injured in Game 2. … Nineteen-year-old rookie LW Brandon Saad, who played two early games with the Blackhawks before spending the season in the Ontario Hockey League, appeared in his first postseason game. … Chicago’s Brandon Bollig and Phoenix’s Paul Bissonnette fought early in the first period. Bissonnette got the better of the fight, but also got a game misconduct for not having his jersey strapped down.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)