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Bickell’s overtime goal pulls Blackhawks even

GLENDALE – Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals
the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes felt eerily similar to
Game 1.

Chicago scored an early goal, Phoenix suffered another key injury
the first period but bounced back for a lead.

The similarities persisted up until the final seconds when like Game
the Blackhawks pulled their goalie and got a late goal to push the
game to overtime.

That’s where the similarities ended. Chicago’s Bryan Bickell scored
his second goal of the night at 10:36 of overtime lifting the
Blackhawks to a 4-3 win, evening the series at 1-1.

Bickell started the scoring for the Blackhawks, beating Phoenix
goalie Mike Smith just 3:05 into the contest, but once again the
Coyotes responded. Playing without center Martin Hanzal, who left
the game early in the first period with an apparent leg injury, the
‘Yotes got goals from Raffi Torres and Antoine Vermette to take a
2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The face of the game changed dramatically in the second frame.
Chicago’s Brandon Bollig beat Smith to tie the game 2-2. Just 14
seconds later, Chicago’s Andrew Shaw laid a hit on Smith behind
the Phoenix net as the goalie was trying to play the puck. Smith
laid on the ice for several minutes while Shaw was issued a five-
minute major for charging and a game misconduct.

Smith did eventually get up and stayed in the game, and Vermette
took advantage, scoring his second power play goal of the night to
give Phoenix a 3-2 lead that would stand up until the final seconds.

After Chicago pulled goaltender Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks
turned up the pressure in the final minute of regulation. That
pressure paid off as Patrick Sharp deflected a Brent Seabrook slap
shot past Smith with 5.5 seconds to go, once again deflating the Arena crowd and setting the stage for Bickell’s overtime

Game 3 of the series is Tuesday night at the United Center in