SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The path Mikkel Boedker took to his second straight heart-stopping, game-winning playoff overtime goal couldn't have been more direct.
Scampering straight ahead with a turnover, the Phoenix Coyotes' 22-year-old speedster fought off two Chicago defenders and forced the puck past goalie Corey Crawford through a spot of daylight he still yet to see. The result was a 3-2 win, a 3-1 Phoenix lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series and a place for Boedker in NHL history as one of only eight players with back-to-back OT goals in the same series.
"We looked at it a couple of times on the bus [back to the hotel], and I guess it went in off my forehand," Boedker said of Thursday night's winner. "That wasn't the plan. But if I did what I planned, maybe it doesn't go in, so I'll stick with whatever happened."
One of only seven Danish players to reach the NHL, Boedker's path to that day was far from direct.
After coming to Calgary for a tournament with in 2007, Boedker fell in love with Canadian junior hockey and made the jump at age 17. He played a season with the Kitchener Rangers and raised eyebrows with 29 goals in the regular season and 35 points in 20 Memorial Cup playoff games.