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Wednesday, September 30

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Blackhawks Fri Apr 20 2012

Hawks Game 4: Another Game, Another Overtime

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngAt this point, an overtime period is practically printed on the playoff programs. Hand it to the Hawks though for fighting it out in the third, sneaking in another last minute shot to tie the game. With plays like that, Michael Frolik, who's filling in for rookie Andrew Shaw, is really taking advantage of his time on the ice.

It's been a hard week for the Blackhawks between losing Shaw to a three-game suspension for a run-in with Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in Game 2, and Marion Hossa, who was knocked unconscious in Game 3, leaving him unable to play in Game 4. The small victories must be counted though. Coyotes left wing and all around thug Raffi Torres has been put on suspension indefinitely pending a hearing, to take place Friday. Chicago fans are still crossing their fingers for a heavy sentence on Torres, who's vicious and entirely unsportsmanlike hit on Hossa leaves the team without one of its best players.

Game 4 seemed quiet for two teams with such bad blood stemming from hits on both sides. The only action in the first period arose from a fight between Brandon Bollig and Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette. However, the third picked up first with a wrist shot from Shane Doan, closely followed by another goal from Taylor Pyatt just 44 seconds later.

The Coyotes took the lead with half the period to go, and the Hawks rose to the occasion. Brendan Morrison sent the puck into the back of the net, marking his first playoff appearance in the series with a positive note. And of course, Frolik came through with the game-tying goal.

However, a foothold in the contest doesn't guarantee a win, no matter how spectacular the comeback, as the Hawks know all too well. The Hawks started overtime with a strong offensive move, but couldn't get a shot off. For the second time in a row, Mikkel Boedker came up with the overtime game-winner about two minutes in.

The Coyotes have a cushy 3-1 series lead as they head home to Phoenix for Game 5 on Saturday. The next game is a must win for the Blackhawks. The team will need to keep a strong offense, pursuing those dirty goals off bouncing pucks and chaos to beat Smith. They're down a few very talented guys, but they survived more than 20 games without one of their stars in the regular season- surely they can rally through the first series of the playoffs.

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