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Vermette, Coyotes defeat Blackhawks in shootout

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Prior to a 3-2 shootout win by the Arizona Coyotes against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Monday, the second point hung in the balance during a video review of a shot by Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw toward the end of overtime.

Despite the tense situation, two longtime friends and coaches looked down the benches at each other and chuckled.

Arizona's Dave Tippett was pulling for a 'no goal,' ruling on one side. Chicago's Joel Quenneville was on the other side, hoping to hear the goal horn sound. Tippett got the good news and the Coyotes (20-27-7) pulled out a win after going not scoring a goal in their previous two shootouts on nine shot attempts.

Antoine Vermette scored the deciding goal to start the third round and goalie Mike Smith made a save against Patrick Sharp to end the wild final sequence.

"I looked down there and I was just kind of laughing at him [and said], 'No goal,' and he was laughing back," Tippett said of Quenneville. "That’s close, though. Not just that goal. There was another rebound that hit [Smith's] stick and then [Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad] hits the crossbar right after that. Entertainment at its finest right there."

Quenneville wasn't quite as entertained.

"Live, it looked like it was in," he said. "Replays you could argue, you could argue, you could argue. ... you could argue again [Tuesday]. It was awfully close. I don't think it could get any closer."

The same could be said for the game. Unlike Arizona's previous trip to Chicago, a 6-1 loss on Jan. 20, this game was close from start to finish.

The Coyotes, who finish a back-to-back set at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, got goals from Shane Doan and Vermette in regulation. The Blackhawks (33-18-3) were led by right wing Marian Hossa's second straight two-goal performance.

Lucas Lessio led off the shootout for Arizona with a goal and right wing Patrick Kane was the lone Chicago shooter to beat Smith, who made 36 saves in regulation and overtime.

Smith's biggest save was against Shaw with 16.2 seconds left in overtime. After getting a piece of the original shot, the puck flipped behind him and appeared to land in the net. It wasn't ruled a goal on the ice, play continued and Saad lifted a wrist shot off the rebound that hit the crossbar.

About 20 seconds earlier, Arizona defenseman Keith Yandle nearly ended the game during an unexpected mini-break against Raanta, who still hasn't lost in regulation at United Center in 18 career games (14-0-3). Yandle made a nice move to the outside, but Raanta sprawled to make the save and set up the thrill show at the other end.

"I got tripped and I was kind of behind the play," said Yandle, who assisted on Doan's goal to extend his team-high point streak to seven games. "Next thing I know, puck's on my stick and I needed somebody to tip it for me."

That's how Doan scored to tie it 1-1 at 17:23 of the second to cap a power play for the Coyotes, who came into the game ranked second in the NHL in road man-advantage situations. After Yandle's slap shot from the right point, Doan got his stick on it to get it past Raanta.

It helped Arizona take back momentum after the first of Hossa's goals, which he scored at 12:44 of the second by tipping a backhand saucer pass from the corner by captain Jonathan Toews.

Early in the third, Vermette gave the Coyotes their first lead with his 12th goal. He made it 2-1 at 3:59 by tipping a shot to beat Raanta. The original shot was taken by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who assisted on each of Arizona's goals.

Hossa tied it 2-2 at 12:18 with his 14th goal, taking a feed by Toews in the offensive zone. His wrist shot banked off defenseman Zbynek Michalek's right leg and went past Smith.

Arizona had to kill off four power plays, including one in overtime. Chicago, which played the second half of a back-to-back and first of eight straight home games, had two shots on net in eight minutes with the man-advantage.

That seemed to bother Quenneville more than the decision on the overtime review.

"I didn't like it," he said. "You could talk about all of them. They started off poorly and ended poorly. You could talk about every aspect of [the power play] tonight. We didn't have any possession time really, didn't have any net presence or shot threats."

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