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Coyotes go for two-game lead vs. Hawks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Coyotes go for two-game lead vs. Hawks
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

BLACKHAWKS at COYOTES

(Phoenix leads best-of-seven series, 1-0)

TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS, CSN-CH (HD)

Big Story: After a rare Game 1 victory, the Coyotes try to make it two in a row against the Hawks in front of another Whiteout crowd in Glendale.

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: The best news for the Hawks in Thursday's loss was that captain Jonathan Toews made a successful return and was healthy enough to take part in Friday's optional skate. The Hawks' captain, who missed Chicago's last 22 games with a concussion, had the game's first goal and an assist on Brent Seabrook's tying tally with 14.2 seconds left in regulation. He also took every hit the Coyotes could dish out.

"I expected worse, and that's not to undershoot what happened," Toews said Friday when asked about the attention he received in Game 1. "But I'm going to be at the net. I'm going to be right there in front of the goalie every whistle. Every chance they get they're going to take shots. I expected that and it's no big deal. I'm just happy with the way I dealt with it."

Coyotes: Martin Hanzal does the dirty work on the Coyotes' top line. But that doesn't mean he can't score. Hanzal got one of the biggest goals in franchise history when his deflection of Adrian Aucoin's shot-pass in overtime went past Corey Crawford for the series-opening win.

"We said before we went out (for overtime) that someone's got to be the hero," Hanzal said of his first goal in more than two months. "It was my first overtime goal and to end the game like that is amazing. Everyone is jumping on you and you know you've done something big."

Who's Hot: Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith made 43 saves on Thursday and has won his last six starts, allowing only four goals.

Injury Report: The Hawks are still missing defenseman Steve Montador (concussion); forward Daniel Carcillo won't play until next season due to knee surgery. … The Coyotes' top goal-scorer, Radim Vrbata, left early in Game 1 with what the team says is an upper-body injury. He's day-to-day.

Stat Pack: Thursday's Game 1 victory was just the sixth in 21 series-openers in the Coyotes' franchise history, including their time in Winnipeg. It was their first overtime playoff win since 1999.

Puck Drop: The overtime in Game 1 was a tale of two periods. The Hawks owned the first three minutes, getting five shots on Smith. But the Coyotes took over after that, forcing Chicago into a handful of icing calls, the last of which led to Hanzal's game-winner.

"I always go back to the icing rule put into place after the lockout - it's a factor," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said Friday. "If you can get them pinned in there ... you can grab momentum in a game."

series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 23 '12PHX 4 at CHI 0O. Ekman-Larsson
Apr 21 '12CHI 2 at PHX 1 - OTJ. Toews
Apr 19 '12PHX 3 at CHI 2 - OTM. Boedker
Apr 17 '12PHX 3 at CHI 2 - OTM. Boedker
Apr 14 '12CHI 4 at PHX 3 - OTB. Bickell
Apr 12 '12CHI 2 at PHX 3 - OTM. Hanzal
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kane2033+2000
B. Bickell2202+1411
J. Toews2112+4200
B. Seabrook2112+2000
J. Oduya2022+1000
P. Sharp2101+0200
B. Bollig2101+0000
D. Keith2011+1000
D. Bolland2011+1200
N. Leddy2011+1000
V. Stalberg2011-1000
M. Hossa2000+3000
A. Shaw2000+11500
J. Mayers2000-1000
A. Brunette2000-1000
N. Hjalmarsson2000-1000
M. Kruger2000-3000
S. Lepisto1000-1000
S. O'Donnell1000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Crawford21-16672.61.910
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Vermette2303-2420
K. Yandle2033+2200
R. Torres2112+2000
M. Hanzal2101+0201
T. Pyatt2101-1000
D. Langkow2011+2000
A. Aucoin2011+0200
S. Doan2011+0000
D. Morris2011+0000
R. Klesla2011+0000
O. Ekman-Larsson2011-3200
M. Boedker2000+1000
L. Korpikoski2000+0000
M. Rozsival2000-1000
B. Gordon2000-1000
R. Whitney2000-2400
R. Vrbata2000-2000
K. Chipchura1000+0000
G. Brule1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Smith21-16952.57.937