The Phoenix Coyotes again found themselves in an early deficit Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, and again overcame it to take the lead.
Then Phoenix allowed a third-period goal to send things to overtime — the Coyotes sixth overtime period in their last seven games — which went to scoreless, sending things to a shootout. But that’s where the familiar tune of the Coyotes’ season changed — at least for one night.
Chicago buried two goals in the four-round shootout while Phoenix (13-4-2) found the net once, and the Blackhawks (12-2-4) held on for a 5-4 win after seeing an early 2-0 lead disappear to end the Coyotes’ shootout winning streak at five.
Mike Smith continued his recent tear with 48 saves, and the Coyotes again displayed their ability to climb out of early holes. Phoenix also had just six giveaways — something that has been an issue at times through the early stages of the season.
The Coyotes also generated a variety of chances offensively, and captain Shane Doan scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Phoenix allowed the Blackhawks to get of 52 shots, and the score shouldn’t have been close without another outstanding effort from Smith, who has faced more shots than any goaltender in the NHL.
But as good as Smith was in net, he made one of the game’s costliest plays when he negated a Phoenix power play by getting physical with a Chicago player after he was called for goaltender interference.
Phoenix was dominated for much of the third period, but managed to only get outscored 1-0. The Blackhawks outshot Phoenix 3-0 in overtime.
The Coyotes got on the board just 41 seconds after the Blackhawks extended their lead to two less than halfway through the first period — again displaying their ability to respond well to adversity on the road.
Then after Chicago jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second, the Coyotes scored three unanswered goals — two of which came in a 2:11 span to tie the game — including Oliver Eckman-Larsson’s go-ahead score less than a minute in to the final period.
The Coyotes host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Jobing.com Arena.