Blackhawks Steal Game 2 From Coyotes In Overtime Thriller

By Randy Holt

Just when you thought the Chicago Blackhawks used up their late-game magic in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, they did it again.

After a game that was marred by awful officiating, the Hawks forced another overtime game, this one with a different result, with the Hawks taking the 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Hawks once again jumped out to the 1-0 lead, with Bryan Bickell getting the scoring started. He was fantastic all night, playing the physical game and was all over the ice. Best game I’ve seen in a long time from Bicks.

But the Coyotes worked their way back into it. Raffi Torres evened things up at one, before a bogus call on Jonathan Toews sent the Coyotes to the power play. Mike Smith came out of the net and hit Toews, yet Toews was the one hit with a goaltender interference call. The Coyotes capitalized, and took a 2-1 lead.

In the second, Brandon Bollig, of all people, flipped a wrister past Smith, before the most controversial call of the game. Smith was attempting to send the puck around the boards, Andrew Shaw was trying to skate behind him and his shoulder made contact with his head.

Shaw was hit with a five minute major and a game misconduct, with the Coyotes adding one goal on the long power play. Shaw is expected to have some sort of disciplinary hearing, but the hit didn’t look as malicious on replay, and Smith stayed in the game. I can’t see him getting a very long suspension for it.

With five seconds left, the Hawks did it again. What initially looked like a goal from Brent Seabrook at the point, which would have been his second consecutive goal inside of 15 seconds, was later credited to Patrick Sharp, who tipped it in front, sending the game to overtime.

In the overtime, the Coyotes mounted a couple of chances against Corey Crawford, but the Hawks netminder stood tall, as he has in the first two games of this series. After a turnover from Adrian Aucoin, Bickell skated in the slot all alone and flipped one past Smith for the winner.

Had the Hawks lost this game, it would have been a travesty, courtesy of some awful officiating, something that’s been all too common in these playoffs. We’ll see what happens with Shaw, but for now the Hawks head back to Chicago having stolen a game in Phoenix, with Game 3 set for Tuesday.

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