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Blackhawks Mon Apr 16 2012

Hawks Beat the Clock Again: OT Victory in Game 2

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngThe second match up of the series in Phoenix was another high-intensity battle. It's clear both teams have been working on their special teams, having started the series with some of the worst power-play percentages in the league - Chicago ranked 26th and Phoenix 29th out of 30. Chicago's rookies are also proving vital in the series alongside their veteran teammates.

Early goals in the first period made sure both teams were on their toes. Bryan Bickell started the scoring in the first three minutes, finally turning a power-play into a goal for the Blackhawks. However, the Coyotes quickly answered with a wristshot from Raffi Torres and a power-play goal from Antoine Vermette after Jonathan Toews was given two minutes for interference on the goalkeeper.

Rookie Brandon Bollig has been racking up minutes on the ice and in the penalty box since being recalled from Rockford in February. But he switched it up in the second period of Game 2 to claim not only is first playoff goal, but his first Blackhawks and NHL goal.

Also in his first NHL season, Andrew Shaw has shown to be a dangerous opponent as well- putting Coyotes lead scorer Radim Vrbata on the day-to-day injured list with an upper body injury in Game 1. Midway through Game 2, a collision behind the net between Shaw and Phoenix goalie Mike Smith looked as though it could put the goaltender out of commission. Though the hit was unintentional, indeed Shaw was attempting to avoid a collision, and Smith ended up just fine, Shaw was given five minutes in the penalty box. Shaw isn't a blood-thirsty thug on the ice, but he's certainly establishing himself as a formidable force. The resulting power-play ended in another goal from Vermette, putting the Coyotes in the lead.

The third period was tense and seemed all but won by Phoenix until Patrick Sharp one-upped Brent Seabrook's late goal with 14 seconds to go in Game 1 by putting away another game-tying goal in with less than six seconds left to push the game into overtime.

After ten minutes of overtime, Bickell bookended his night with a second goal for the sudden death 4-3 win over the Coyotes.

The Blackhawks will be coming home for Games 3 and 4 this week. Bringing back a victory puts them in a great position to take the lead in the Mad House. Tuesday's game will be prefaced with another edition of Morning Skate Live at 10:30 a.m. - so fans can check out how their favorite players prep for a playoff game by watching the streaming content online or via the Official Blackhawks mobile app. Don't worry nine-to-fivers, your boss will be cool with it.

 
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