Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – Antoine Vermette netted the deciding marker
in the shootout and Arizona escaped with a 3-2 victory over Chicago at United
Coyotes forward Martin Erat was sent off for holding at 1:54 of the extra
session after a flurry in the Blackhawks’ attack zone, but the hosts couldn’t
Things got tense and exciting from there.
Antti Raanta stoned Arizona defenseman Keith Yandle on a breakaway inside of
30 seconds left in OT, then a pair of Chicago shots came within a hair of
ending the night on the Blackhawks’ next trip up ice.
Andrew Shaw’s try from the left side with 16.2 seconds on the clock was saved
by Smith, but the puck’s momentum carried it past the Arizona goaltender until
it bounced along the goal line before Smith swept it away with his stick.
Brandon Saad then followed with a point-blank chance which hit the underside
of the crossbar and caromed back into play.
Once action was halted, a lengthy review determined the puck did not cross the
goal line completely on Shaw’s chance, although replay suggested the puck, on
edge, might have made it through.
In the game’s final segment, each team scored through the first two rounds and
then Vermette beat Raanta with a wrister. Smith closed out the contest by
denying Patrick Sharp.
“I tried to catch him moving a little bit and tried to surprise him quick in
the five hole,” said Vermette.
Both goaltenders combined to stop 22 shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Hossa snapped the scoreless stalemate at 12:44 of the second period, charging
the net and tapping in a long cross-ice dish from Jonathan Toews.
“You just have to keep working hard, and good things happen,” Hossa said.
Yandle’s shot hit bodies near the crease and eluded Raanta on a Coyotes power
play inside of three minutes left before the final intermission. Shane Doan
was eventually credited with his 12th of the season.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson flipped a shot from the left point which was deflected in
by Vermette at 3:59 of the third and the Coyotes led 2-1.
Hossa pulled his team even with 7:42 left in the contest on a shot from
between the circles.
Smith ended up with 36 saves in regulation, while Raanta turned aside 27 pucks
… Arizona, which plays in St. Louis on Tuesday, has won three straight games
away from home … Chicago dropped its first home contest since Jan. 18
against Dallas … Yandle has 13 points in his last 12 games, all assists.