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NHL Arizona CoyotesChicago Blackhawks

Phoenix Coyotes Will Need Perfect Game From Mike Smith To Win Third Straight

Mike Smith- Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday night, the Phoenix Coyotes have their work cut out for them when they take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago will be coming into town boasting the best record in the NHL and will be looking to keep their streak of zero losses in regulation alive.

The Coyotes will be looking to keep a streak of their own alive on Thursday as well. Phoenix got off to a rough start when the season began, but they have won the last two games in a row and they will be trying to take advantage of their home ice to give the Blackhawks a loss.

They will also be relying heavily upon Mike Smith, who looks as though he is fully recovered from a groin injury that had kept him out of action to begin the season. If he gives a strong showing and is aided by the guys in front of him, the Coyotes could put up a serious fight against the surging Blackhawks.

Another positive for the Coyotes is the fact that Chicago is in the later half of a long road trip. Phoenix has a very strong team and although they got off to the rough start they have turned it around as of late and look to be getting back to last season’s form when they finished atop the Pacific Division with 97 points.

Chicago is not unbeatable, but they have been playing like they are, and after coming off of a win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, they may be feeling a bit invincible.

Phoenix will get their opportunities for their shots on goal, but if their defense cannot slow down the ramped up offense of the Blackhawks, it is going to be a long night in the desert.

Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com.  Follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, “Like” his page on FaceBook, or add him to your network on Google+.