Blackhawks Top Coyotes in Shootout

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By Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune reporter

The Blackhawks’ offense merely simmered during three days between games.

Once the puck was dropped, it again reached a boil and the Hawks rode it to a 5-4 victory over the Coyotes in a shootout Thursday night at the United Center. The triumph snapped a six-game home losing skid to the Coyotes and extended the Hawks’ winning streak to four and run of points to eight.

Brandon Pirri notched the game-winner in the shootout after Jonathan Toews and Radim Vrbata also had tallied.

Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Pirri scored in regulation to support netminder Corey Crawford. Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook each added two assists to help the Hawks improve to 13-2-4 on the season.

Michael Stone had two goals, Shane Doan a goal and an assist and Lauri Korpikoski also found the back of the net but it wasn’t enough as Mike Smith suffered the loss for the Coyotes. Phoenix lost for just the second time in its last nine games and the first time in six trips to the United Center over a three-season span, including playoffs.

The Hawks netted four goals or more for the seventh time in their last eight contests as they peppered Smith with 52 shots before the shootout.

“He’s a great goalie, you have to give him credit — he stopped 50 or something,” Pirri said. “We just tried putting pressure on him. It had to be a greasy goal to get one by him.

“They had a little streak going here and we don’t like losing to anyone. We broke the streak and we’re just trying to keep it rolling.”

The Hawks started quickly as Saad scored on the first shot of the contest. The winger scooped up a rebound of a Kane shot and, after being denied on his first attempt, flipped his second over Smith and into the top of the net.

Just less than four minutes later, Sharp made it 2-0 with the Hawks on the power play. The winger assumed his usual spot at the point during a man advantage and sent a long shot that sailed past Smith, who was screened by Andrew Shaw on the play. The goal gave Sharp 10 points in the last eight games.

The Coyotes were not deterred and mounted their comeback 41 seconds later with Stone’s goal off a shot from the point that deflected off the stick of Pirri and past Crawford.

Doan knotted the score 2-2 after one period when the veteran batted in a puck from the right post after defenseman Keith Yandle fired it off the end board and into the crease.

Hossa put the Hawks ahead when he rifled a shot off Smith’s mask and pounced on the rebound laying in the crease and delivered into the back of the net on the goalie’s stick side.

After holding the momentum throughout much of the second, the Coyotes seized it — and the lead — on scores by Korpikoski and Stone.

First, Korpikoski became the third player on the night to follow his own rebound with a goal when he sneaked the puck past Crawford. Not long after, Stone notched his second of the game with a cannon shot from the slot that Crawford couldn’t solve for a 4-3 Coyotes edge after two.

Pirri scored in the third to even things as the rookie redirected a blast from Seabrook past Smith just as a Coyotes penalty expired.

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