For the second time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks scored six goals against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blackhawks still have not lost in regulation, and Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith was once again at his worst against a potent Chicago offense.
While the opening storyline was more about settling the score for the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres’ hit on the Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs, after Chicago’s Jamal Mayers and Torres engaged in early fisticuffs the Blackhawks offense became the story the rest of the way. The Blackhawks got goals from Viktor Stalberg, Patrick Kane, Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell on their way to another high-scoring victory.
Kane was the story of the night as he continues to have one of the hottest hands in the NHL. His goals were his seventh and eighth of the season, placing him behind only the Buffalo Sabres’ Thomas Vanek and the San Jose Sharks’ Patrick Marleau on the league leaderboard.
Smith had by far his worst outing since returning from a lower-body injury a week ago. His two games against the Blackhawks are now his worst statistical performances of the season, but his Coyotes teammates did little to help him last night. The Blackhawks converted on two of nine power play chances.
The Coyotes took many costly penalties, while only getting two power plays of their own. They were also outshot 33-24, and face a tough Sharks team on Saturday.
The loss to the Blackhawks was the first time in five games the Coyotes had not captured at least a point, so this loss was hopefully just a bump in the road for a team that still looks like a playoff contender on most nights.