Toews, Blackhawks beat Coyotes 5-4 in shootout

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm •  Published: November 14, 2013
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks just kept shooting at Phoenix goalie Mike Smith. Eventually they prevailed.

Jonathan Toews and rookie Brandon Pirri scored in a four-round shootout, and the Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-4 on Thursday night for their fourth straight win.

Through overtime, Chicago fired a season-high 52 shots at Smith, the NHL's busiest goalie. He has faced a league-high 607 shots in 18 games so far. Still, the Blackhawks needed a shootout to settle this one.

"We knew he was a good goaltender going in," said Brandon Saad, who scored Chicago's first goal. "We wanted to get shots but we also wanted to get to the net, crash and get rebounds, take his eyes away.

"We did a good job of that and got a couple goals there."

Pirri tied the score 4-all 3 minutes into the third, and 4 seconds after a Chicago power play had elapsed. He connected on a midair deflection of Brent Seabrook's drive from the top of the circle.

Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa also scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, who extended their point streak to eight games (7-0-1).

After blowing an early 2-0 lead and then falling behind 4-3 after two periods, the Blackhawks kept peppering Smith. Chicago came out buzzing in the third, outshooting Phoenix 17-6.

"We had some good looks at it and had some great chances in the third," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "The recipe to try to beat him is the number of pucks and traffic and bodies. He still made some big saves in the third period."

Radim Vrbata had the lone shootout goal for Phoenix, 7-1-1 in its last nine games.

Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone scored two goals for the first time in his career as the Coyotes overcame an early two-goal deficit to earn a point.

"It's a tough one, but we found a way to battle through adversity and get a point," Smith said.

In the shootout, Smith stopped Patrick Kane and Sharp shot wide. Toews and Pirri, who made his first career shootout attempt, connected on wrist shots.

"They're so skilled, if you think they're doing one thing, they'll make you look pretty foolish doing something else," Smith said. "I was fortunate to make a couple of saves, but not enough."

Shane Doan and Lauri Korpikoski also scored for Phoenix. At 13-4-3, the Coyotes are off to their best start since 1998-99 when they were 15-3-2 after 20 games.

Smith made 48 saves and Chicago's Corey Crawford had 26 in a wide-open, back-and-forth game.

"They came at us awful hard in the third period," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We were down a defenseman or two there. They threw a lot of pucks at our net, so we'll take the point and move on."



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