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Schlemko lifts Coyotes in SO, ends Blackhawks' win streak
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - David Schlemko scored the winner in the shootout as the Phoenix Coyotes kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
In the final attempt, Schlemko skated down the middle and cut to the left before wristing the puck past Corey Crawford to give the Coyotes the win.
With 46 points, Phoenix sits in the 11th spot in the Western Conference, but is just three points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for eighth place with four games to play.
Rostislav Klesla and Radim Vrbata both scored for the Coyotes, who snapped a three-game slide. Mike Smith made 36 saves in the win.
"If we want to get into the playoffs we have to win every game and this was a big one for us," said Smith. "It's do-or-die right now and we have to do everything we can to win."
Brent Seabrook had both goals while Crawford posted 29 stops in the loss for the Blackhawks, who had a seven-game winning streak stopped.
"We've found ways to win in overtime and shootouts more often than not," said Seabrook. "When it comes down to the end we have the confidence that we can win games, but it just didn't go that way for us tonight."
Chicago has 73 points on the season and has already clinched first overall in the Western Conference, and the team holds a five-point lead over Pittsburgh for first overall in the NHL.
Chicago scored on the power play 11:20 in as Seabrook's one-timer from the top of the right circle off a feed from Nick Leddy beat Smith for a 1-0 lead.
Just 46 seconds later, Phoenix got a lucky break as Klesla's dump in from near mid-ice bounced a few feet in front of Crawford and hopped over his glove.
The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead with 5:20 to play in the first period as Vrbata's wrist shot from the left circle found the back of the net.
The Blackhawks tied the game at the 3:39 mark of the second on the man advantage as Patrick Kane's pass from the right boards to the slot saw Seabrook beat Smith with a quick wrister for his eighth goal of the season.
Chicago plays in Vancouver on Monday ... Phoenix plays in Detroit on Monday ... Chicago had won the other two matchups with the Coyotes this year, both in Phoenix ... The Blackhawks went 2-for-4 on the power play while Phoenix was 0- for-5.
04/21 01:06:48 ET