NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Phoenix
(Tuesday, October 28th)
Final Score: Chicago 2, Phoenix 2
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Branko Radivojevic scored the tying goal early in the third period, lifting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Blackhawks at America West Arena.
Chris Gratton also scored for the Coyotes, who played to their third straight tie and are 0-3-3 in six games after opening the season with three wins. Zac Bierk made 26 saves for Phoenix.
Ville Nieminen notched a goal and an assist for Chicago, while Igor Radulov also scored. The Blackhawks are 2-0-3 in their last five and wrapped up a four-game road trip with a win and three ties.
"We got five of eight points on the road trip," said Blackhawks head coach Brian Sutter. "When you play four games in seven nights and you get something in every building, it is the best road trip this team has been on in about five or six years and we are not totally happy with it. We are pleased with the progress we are making."
Jocelyn Thibault made 35 saves for Chicago and withstood a third-period barrage by stopping 14-of-15 shots.
The Coyotes tied it on Radivojevic's second goal at 6:43 of the third. Mike Sillinger worked the puck into the Chicago zone along the right wing and fed a pass to Radivojevic, who was trailing the play. Radivojevic skated alone down the slot between defenders and backhanded a shot past the stick of Thibault.
"They don't quit," said Phoenix head coach Bobby Francis. "That is three games in a row we have come from behind."
Phoenix had a great chance to win it in the final seconds of regulation. After a faceoff win, Thibault made a save on a shot from the point and left the rebound at the left side of the crease. Paul Mara was there for Phoenix, but his backhander went wide of the net.
The Coyotes outshot the Blackhawks 15-6 in the third period. Each team had two shots in overtime.
Gratton had the best chance to win it for Phoenix in overtime. He was cutting down the slot and took a feed from Sillinger, but Thibault made the save with 1:26 left in the extra period.
"The only negative part was we had a lead and lost it, but we still got a point out of it," Thibault said. "We have a young team and when we are playing with a lead we have a tendency to sit back a bit. I try to give confidence in my team I hope they think if it gets by them I will be there for them."
The Blackhawks scored first at 12:07 of the opening period on Radulov's first goal of the season. Mark Bell broke into the Phoenix zone along the left wing with Radulov on a 2-on-1 break. Bell fed the puck from the left circle to Radulov, who quickly snapped a one-timer home from the right circle for a 1-0 lead.
Phoenix answered just 22 seconds later. Jan Hrdina had the puck behind the Chicago net and made a pass from the right post across the top of the crease to Gratton, who made a backhand flip from in front past Thibault for his first goal as a Coyote.
"We got down low and that creates some pretty good chances," said Gratton. "That is something we have to work on. We are pretty big guys and if we go down low we will get more chances."
The Blackhawks scored the only goal of the second period on Nieminen's first of the season at the 2:46 mark. Steve Sullivan did most of the work on the power play, carrying the puck into the Phoenix zone along the right wing. He then sent a pass into the slot for Nieminen, who fired it past Bierk.
Phoenix had a chance to tie the game late in the second period while shorthanded, but failed to hit the net on a 3-on-1 break.
The Blackhawks were 1-for-7 on the power play and killed off each of Phoenix's five chances with the extra skater...The Coyotes have still killed off 17 of their last 18 shorthanded situations...Chicago is 2-0-1 in its last three trips to Phoenix...Phoenix's Ossi Vaananen was given a game misconduct late in the first period for a boarding major.
10/29 01:21:26 ET