April 22, 2012
Toews forces Game 6 with OT winner
By SPORTS NETWORK
GLENDALE, ARIZ. - It was decided in overtime for a fifth straight time, but this time Chicago won it as Jonathan Toews scored 2:44 in for a 2-1 win over Phoenix.
The previous two games had seen Mikkel Boedker net OT winners for Phoenix, but this time it was Toews as he grabbed the puck after it popped out from a scrum along the right boards and he banked a shot in off the left post for the victory.
This best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series will now head back to Chicago for Monday night with the Coyotes holding a 3-2 lead.
All five games of this matchup have been decided in overtime, tying a record set during the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals between Toronto and Montreal.
Nick Leddy also scored while Corey Crawford turned away 18 shots in the win.
Gilbert Brule scored the lone goal for the Coyotes, who are still looking for their first series playoff victory since moving to Phoenix before the start of the 1996-97 season. Mike Smith made 36 stops in the loss.
Before the game, Phoenix learned that forward Raffi Torres was suspended by the NHL for 25 games stemming from an open-ice hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in Game 3. Hossa is out indefinitely.
Smith was busy in the first period as he had to make 12 stops to keep Chicago off the board. Crawford didn't have as much work to do, but he did turn aside all four shots he faced to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
Phoenix had a 2-on-1 chance stopped in the second, but a bit later scored on another 2-on-1 break.
Brule skated the puck down the right wing and from the circle he blasted a shot past the glove of Crawford for his first ever playoff goal 2:46 into the middle stanza.
Smith was again up to the task in the second period as he turned aside 10 shots to keep Chicago off the board.
The Blackhawks, though, finally broke through at the 9:15 mark of the third. Chicago was able to keep the puck in the Phoenix end and from the high slot Michael Frolik sent a backhand chip pass over to the right point. From there, Leddy blasted a one-timer through traffic in front for his first of the playoffs.