NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, October 18th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (2-1-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes escaped a much-anticipated home opener
with a victory. Next they'll shoot for a third straight win in a meeting with
a Chicago Blackhawks club that hits the road for just the second time tonight
at Jobing.com Arena.
The Coyotes kicked off their 2011-12 season with a three-game road trip, going
1-1-1 before returning home to face the Winnipeg Jets. The game was receiving
a lot of hype because of the fact that the Coyotes used to be located in
Winnipeg before moving to Phoenix prior to the 1996-97 season.
Daymond Langkow, though, gave his club a quick spark by scoring 34 seconds
into the game following a Jets turnover and Phoenix rolled to a 4-1 win.
"There was a lot made out of things going into this game," said Phoenix head
coach Dave Tippett. "But when the puck dropped the guys went out and played a
great game. We scored on the first shift and never looked back."
Ray Whitney assisted on Langkow's early goal and also scored, Shane Doan had
two assists and Mike Smith stopped 18 shots. The Coyotes also got a big
contribution from defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who notched the first two-
goal game of his career.
The 20-year-old has three goals in four games this season after logging one in
48 contests as a rookie last year.
"He's a very good player. That position is a hard position for young players
to play," said Tippett. "What you see in Ekman-Larsson is he's really buying
into the details of the game, he's making good simple plays, he's not getting
himself in trouble and his skill is showing."
Doan, meanwhile, has a point in all four games this year but did fail in his
first bid to collect career goal No. 300.
The Blackhawks hit the road for the second time this year after going 2-0-1 on
a three-game homestand. That residency followed a 2-1 loss in Dallas on Oct. 7
and was capped with Saturday's 3-2 shootout setback to Boston.
Corey Crawford made 35 saves, but gave up the lone goal in the shootout to
Tyler Seguin. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp all came up empty
on their chances in the breakaway session.
Kane and Bryan Bickell both scored a goal in a meeting between the last two
Stanley Cup champions.
Even though the Blackhawks played without Marian Hossa due to an upper-body
injury, Kane would like to see his club get more aggressive.
"It kind of seems like we're playing a little back lately and really not
pushing the play," Kane said. "When you get that one-goal lead you don't want
to cheat and push too much, but at the same time it would have been nice to
make it 3-1."
Hossa did not practice on Monday, but was slated to travel with the club to
Phoenix in anticipation of returning to the lineup tonight.
These two clubs split four meetings a season ago, with each team winning once
in a shootout. The Coyotes have won three of the past four at home in this
10/18 10:48:26 ET