January 21, 2020

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Hawks last-minute men

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/4/2012 (2836 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CHICAGO — For two straight games, the Chicago Blackhawks trailed the Phoenix Coyotes in the final stages of regulation and pulled goalie Corey Crawford for a late desperation surge with six attackers.

Both times it worked in the opening-round playoff series that is tied 1-1.

Chicago's Brent Seabrook scored with 14.2 seconds to go in Game 1 to even it up before Phoenix pulled out a 3-2 overtime victory. On Saturday night, Patrick Sharp re-directed a shot into the goal with 5.5 seconds left to force overtime and this time the Blackhawks prevailed 4-3 on an extra-period goal from Bryan Bickell.

Now it's on to the United Center for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday night.

"Both games they were fortunate to get a goal in the last minute. Give them credit. They keep coming," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "It's the playoffs. That's the way it's always going to be. There are going to be momentum swings and big goals."

After a wild final scramble Saturday night in which Chicago was able to keep possession of the puck, Seabrook fired off a long shot and Sharp re-directed it past Mike Smith, forcing another overtime in the heated and physical series.

And Bickell made sure the Blackhawks were rewarded.

"Nice to get home ice. Hope we can stand behind it," Bickell said.

"We never give up. We score one with 14 seconds left and one with five seconds left to tie it up."

Sharp, like most of his teammates, said scoring twice in the final seconds to force overtime is about as rare as it gets, especially in the playoffs.

"We had six guys moving the puck pretty well," Sharp said. "We had a few chances to score. I knew Seabrook was going to pound it one last time with time running out and I was able to get a stick on it."

Smith, whose strong play helped the Coyotes win a division title, faced 50 shots and was able to shake off a second-period hit after he was knocked to the ice by Chicago's Andrew Shaw as he went to retrieve the puck behind the net.

He was down, groggy and attended to for several minutes but was able to stay in the game.

"I went back to play the puck and I didn't see him coming. I don't have eyes in the back of my head," Smith said. "I feel fine. I'm 100 per cent."

Shaw was sent off with a 5-minute charging penalty and a game misconduct.

"The league will look at that," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Obviously, that's contact to the head. Doesn't matter if it's a goaltender or a player, that's blindside contact to the head and I'm sure the league will look at it."

— The Associated Press

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