(Photos courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks)
On Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in a battle that was finally settled in the final minute of overtime.
After a hard fought first period, which saw neither club reach the scoreboard, the Coyotes took the first lead of the game in the second period when Boyd Devereaux tipped a shot from captain Shane Doan along the left hand boards, past Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin for a 1-0 lead. Forward Oleg Saprykin also registered his sixth assist of the season on Devereaux's goal.
The score would remain 1-0 into the third period, but when Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris was called for interference at 1:25 of the period, the Blackhawks received a crucial power play. The Hawks wouldn't let this opportunity pass them by as Rene Bourque tied the game with his third goal of the season.
As the third period continued, both teams turned their focus to the offense as the Coyotes and Blackhawks made continuous rush at both ends of the ice, trying to keep the game from going to overtime. But this night was destined to last more than 60 minutes, as an extra frame would be needed to determine a winner.
Early in overtime, the Coyotes got a huge break when Chicago's Martin Lapointe was called for hooking, giving Phoenix a rare overtime power play. On the man-advantage, the Coyotes dominated the play by keeping the puck deep in the Hawks zone and putting Chicago on the brink of defeat. However, the Blackhawks were staying alive thanks to the impressive goaltending performance by Khabibulin.
Chicago would wind up killing off the penalty to Lapointe and one back at full strength, the Blackhawks tried to create a late offensive onslaught of their own. Coyotes goaltender David LeNeveu, who turned in an amazing performance Sunday night made a series of big saves in the overtime period as he tried to reach the shootout round.
Then with just 38 seconds left in overtime, Chicago took advantage of a bad break for the Coyotes when a Phoenix shot from the point his Chicago defender and bounced into the neutral zone, giving the Hawks a three-on-one rush. As Chicago entered the Coyotes zone, the Blackhawks Brent Seabrook blasted a slap shot from the slot that LeNeveu tried to squeeze with his right arm, but the puck was able to drop behind LeNeveu and trickle into the net, giving Chicago a 2-1 overtime victory.
"It was a little bit of a tough break for us there," said Coyotes Associate Coach Barry Smith. "We played very well in overtime and had some chances to win it with the power play but we struggled to put the puck on net. Then they catch a bounce off the shin pad and break out the other way and wind up scoring. It's unfortunate."
Phoenix rookie David LeNeveu turned in one of his most impressive performances of the season as he turned aside 34 shots in Sunday's overtime loss to Chicago.
"It's frustrating to play so well for three games and then to loose the way we did," said LeNeveu. "We just didn't make the plays when we needed to for us to come away with the win."
Phoenix forward Tyson Nash missed his second consecutive game on Sunday due to a sore hip. While the Coyotes are anxious to see Nash return to 100%, the team is not going to rush him back into the line up prematurely.
"Tyson (Nash) is a very important part of this hockey team and he brings a lot of energy to the game," said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky. "But we want to make sure he is good to go when he comes back and we won't take the risk of rushing him into the line up. If he is ready to play on Tuesday, we will be happy with that, if he needs to wait until Thursday, we will do that too."
LEHOUX JOINS COYOTES
Yanic Lehoux, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, joined the Coyotes in Minnesota Sunday night.
Lehoux is expected to practice with the club on Monday.
Coyote forward Mike Comrie left Sunday's game in the first period after being struck in the eye by a high-stick from Chicago's Jaroslav Spacek.
Comrie is currently listed as day-to-day and will be re-examined by the Coyotes medical staff on Monday.
The Coyotes will return to the ice on Tuesday when they conclude their current three game road trip with a stop in Minnesota to take on the Wild. The game is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. and can be see on FSN Arizona or heard on KDUS-1060 AM and KDKB-93.3 FM. You can also listen to all the action on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the "Listen Live" link in the Game Coverage section.
NEXT HOME GAME
The next Phoenix Coyotes home game will take place on Thursday Nov. 10 when the Coyotes host the Calgary Flames at Glendale Arena. Thursday's game can be seen on FSN Arizona or heard on KDUS-1060 AM and KDKB-93.3 FM. You can also listen to all the action on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the "Listen Live" link in the Game Coverage section.
Thursday night's game will also be a "Bud Light Friends Night Out" game. Purchase 2 tickets, 2 orders of buffalo chicken strips and 2 16-ounce beers or sodas for only $50.00, or upgrade to lower level seats for only $100.00.
To purchase a "Bud Light Friends Night Out" pack for Thursday's game, click here.
To purchase individual tickets for Thursday's game, click here.