The Phoenix Coyotes stole one in Chicago, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. The game followed in line with the previous two as all three games have gone into an extra session. Mikkel Boedker scored from a tough angle along the goal line to Corey Crawford’s right.
The game’s storyline, though, centers around illegal hits and suspensions. A few hours before the puck dropped at the United Center, Andrew Shaw was handed a three-game suspension for his hit on Phoenix goalie, Mike Smith. Just under 12 minutes into the game, Coyotes forward Raffi Torres left his feet and made a dangerous high hit on Marian Hossa.
Hossa left on a stretcher, an announcement during the intermission report between the third period overtime said that Hossa left the hospital under his own strength. If you’re thinking Torres’ name sounds familiar, that’s because it should. He lit up Brent Seabrook in Game 3 of last year’s playoff series when he played for Vancouver. Seabrook suffered a concussion and sat for Games 4 and 5. Torres (somehow) avoided a suspension. He may not be so lucky this time, but maybe he will considering how the suspensions have been handed out this postseason.
Andrew Brunette deflected a Patrick Kane shot past Smith towards the end of the first period. The ‘Hawks held the 1-0 all the way to the 11:44 mark in the third period when the two teams combined for three goals in a 1:05 span. Chicago blew the lead twice, something that simply cannot happen in the playoffs if you want to advance.
The power play continues to struggle, as they went 0-3 in their first game at home in the postseason. Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger were dominant when taking faceoffs. They are the main reason the Blackhawks outdrew Phoenix 35-28. Michael Frolik may have been the best forward on the ice for the ‘Hawks. He played in Shaw’s spot on the third line.
The Blackhawks also have some decisions to make on the defensive end. They’ve used three different players in the sixth defensive spot. The guy they used in Game 3, Dylan Olsen, had just 9 shifts and played under 5 minutes. Game 4 is Thursday night. The teams will know by then what the respective statuses of Torres and Hossa are. Both teams will most likely have to make some changes to their lineup.
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