The Phoenix Coyotes escape Game 1 beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime.
It was a quick pace to start the hockey game, and what a way to get on the board first for the Blackhawks. After missing 22 games with a concussion, Jonathan Toews directed a backhand to the net from a bad angle that slipped by Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith giving Chicago an early 1-0 lead.
Second period was all Phoenix.
The Coyotes caught a break about midway through the second period as the officials missed a blatant too many men on the ice penalty ultimately leading to a Taylor Pyatt goal tying the game at 1 a piece. The Blackhawks had their fourth line on the ice for over a minute and a half while Phoenix made 2 line changes which led to their game-tying goal.
Minutes winding down in the second, a delayed offsides call translated into a Coyotes odd man rush where Antoine Vermette sniped one by Corey Crawford giving Phoenix a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Chicago put 18 shots on net in the final period of regulation, and the 18th shot by Brent Seabrook was the one that tied the game up at 2 with just 15 seconds left to play sending the game into sudden death overtime.
The Blackhawks came out extremely aggressive in overtime recording the first 5 shots of the period, but the Coyotes came away with the victory when Martin Hanzal tipped-in Adrian Aucoin’s blast from the point sealing Game 1.
There are lots to look at for the Blackhawks. Their power play finished 0-for-4 and failed to capitaliz on a 5-on-3 in the second period, Phoenix outhit them 48-22, and Chicago lost 33 of 58 faceoffs.
Meanwhile, Corey Crawford was absolutely spectacular stopping 31 of 34 shots and came up big all night long. He essentially kept the Blackhawks in the game as a handful of players were a no-show tonight.
Phoenix leads the series 1-0. Game 2 is on Saturday night; puck drop at 9:00pm CT!