Three straight overtimes for Coyotes, Blackhawks

Wednesday, 04.18.2012 / 2:01 AM | Brian Compton  - Deputy Managing Editor
When it comes to the Western Conference Quarterfinal between the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, 60 minutes just haven't been enough.

After a wild third period, the clubs played overtime for a third straight game Tuesday night before Mikkel Boedker gave the Coyotes a 2-1 series lead when he beat Corey Crawford from a sharp angle at 13:15 in a 3-2 win at the United Center.

Overtime was needed again after the teams traded three goals during a 65-second span in the third period. Michael Frolik gave Chicago a 2-1 lead almost immediately after Rostislav Klesla had tied it for Phoenix, but Ray Whitney evened things up again for the Coyotes just 32 seconds later.

The victory has Phoenix halfway towards its first postseason series victory in 25 years. In 1987, the Winnipeg Jets ousted the Calgary Flames in six games.

The Phoenix-Chicago series is the first series to open with three consecutive overtime games since Colorado-Minnesota in 2008.

They've got the power -- Want to know why the Florida Panthers boast a 2-1 series lead on the New Jersey Devils? The power play would be a solid first guess.

Florida, which found itself in an early 3-0 deficit Tuesday night, managed to rally behind three power-play goals in a 4-3 victory at the Prudential Center.

Incredibly, the Panthers' power play is clicking at a success rate of 60 percent. That's right -- 10 opportunities, six goals. Combine that with the fact that New Jersey allowed a League-low 27 power-play goals during the regular season, and it's downright astonishing what Florida has been able to accomplish thus far in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

Tuesday night also marked the first time that Florida rallied from more than a one-goal deficit in its postseason history.

One to go -- All the Nashville Predators needed to pull within one victory of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was another world-class performance from their world-class goaltender.

Pekka Rinne stopped 40 of 41 shots Tuesday night to lead Nashville to a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal at Joe Louis Arena. The Predators can advance to Round 2 for a second straight year with a win on home ice in Game 5 on Friday night.

Detroit has dropped back-to-back games in regulation at home after losing only seven games in regulation at Joe Louis Arena during the regular season. The Red Wings advanced the previous three times they were down 2-1 -- they won Game 4 en route to eliminating Phoenix two years ago, and also knocked out Anaheim (2009) and San Jose (2007).

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL
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