CHICAGO (AP) — Mikkel Boedker scored 13:15 into overtime, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in their wild and physical opening-round Western Conference playoff series.
Game 4 is Thursday night at the United Center.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Warm But Wet Sunday Morning Ahead Of Cold Front
Boedker scored from the left side of the net, beating goalie Corey Crawford as the teams played their third straight overtime game.
Chicago played most of the night without regular-season points leader Marian Hossa, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period after a hit by Raffi Torres.
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Andrew Brunette and Michael Frolik had goals for the Blackhawks, and Rostislav Klesla and Ray Whitney scored for the Coyotes in regulation.
Mike Smith shook off a big hit he absorbed in Game 2 and made 35 saves – six in overtime – to earn the win.
Frolik, who replaced the suspended Andrew Shaw, gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead by scoring on a rebound off an attempt by Brent Seabrook with both teams down a man in the third. But Whitney came right back a half minute later to punch in a rebound for the Coyotes and tie it.
Chicago led 1-0 after two periods, but the Coyotes got even a first time on Klesla’s first career playoff goal on a shot from the left circle – the first of three scores in a span of 65 seconds with both teams a man short after unsportsmanlike penalties on Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson and Phoenix’s Shane Doan.
Hossa, who led the Blackhawks with 77 points this season, was taken off on a stretcher after he was knocked to the ice by a thunderous hit from Raffi Torres in the first period. He was released from the hospital, and is expected to recover completely, but there is no timetable for his return.
“After initial evaluation on the ice, (Hossa) was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further testing, which yielded encouraging results,” team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released by the Blackhawks after the game. “He has been released from the hospital and we are monitoring him closely at home.”READ MORE: Woman And 12-Year-Old Girl Dead, 4 Hospitalized After House Fire In Auburn Gresham
The Blackhawks were already without Shaw, who was suspended on Tuesday for three games for his hit that knocked Smith to the ice – but didn’t force him out of Saturday night’s Game 2. Smith was booed loudly Tuesday night, especially when he went behind the net to get a puck early in the game.
Hossa was near the boards at center ice and had just turned and passed the puck when Torres left his skates and delivered a shot with his shoulder that knocked Hossa to the ice. Hossa was down for about five minutes as medical personnel rushed immediately to his side, and then was taken off of the ice on the stretcher at 11:51 of the opening period.
“It’s tough. You saw the hit,” Chicago’s Patrick Kane said between periods. “I think it’ll be reviewed by the league. It’s just tough you don’t get a power play out of it. Hossa’s a big part of our team so someone’s going to have to step up and fill the void.”
Seconds after the hit, Chicago’s Brandon Bollig was given a 10-minute misconduct for roughing.
Torres, who had run-ins with the Blackhawks previously while with Vancouver, wasn’t penalized. Last season, in Game 3 of the first-round series, Torres delivered a hard hit to Brent Seabrook.
In the final seconds, Chicago’s Marcus Kruger won a faceoff. Nick Leddy got the puck and passed to Patrick Kane, whose shot from above the right circle was tipped in by Brunette with 29 seconds left in the first.
With the Blackhawks on a power play early in the second, Crawford and Seabrook teamed up to stop a breakaway attempt by Boedker.
Frolik had two close-in chances moments later but couldn’t connect. Duncan Keith’s attempt at a wide-open net with just over two minutes left in the second hit the right post.
As the period ended, a skirmish erupted between the teams, and goalies Corey Crawford and Smith had words chest-to-chest as the teams went to their locker rooms. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was assessed a roughing penalty.
Notes: Coyotes C Martin Hanzal and LW Lauri Korpikoski were scratched after being injured in Game 2. Hanzal skated Tuesday morning and in warmups.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter
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