Associated Press CHICAGO –Kyle Turris and Wojtek Wolski scored goals 35 seconds apart in the second period and backup goalie Jason LaBarbera made 35 saves to key the Coyotes' 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the United Center.
LaBarbera faced 26 shots in the first two periods, but only 10 in the third.
Trailing 1-0, Turris tied the score 6:23 into the second period, rapping Wojtek Wolski's short pass by Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco. Wolski faked defenseman Nick Boynton to open up the passing lane and free Turris for the shot.
Coyotes forward Eric Belanger made the score 2-1 at 6:58 by slapping the puck into the net over Turco's right shoulder on a two-on-one rush. Belanger took a loose puck at center ice and raced down the right side before shooting.
The outburst by the Coyotes, who took 22 shots, overshadowed the first-period goal by Chicago's Brian Bickell. His wrist shot through a double screen 9:22 into the game caromed off Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and past LaBarbera.
With the victory, the Coyotes (5-5-5) snapped a three-game winless streak.
“We feel like we’re coming together." Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We’ve still got a ways to go, but players are starting to find their roles, find their niche on our team. Any time you can have success, it enhances that process. We’ll go home for two hard games and hopefully we can build on this.”
Chicago (8-9-1) has lost four consecutive home games.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com contributed to this recap.
The best chance for Chicago to score after Phoenix took a 2-1 lead was a quick shot from the top of the crease by forward Jack Skille with 14:05 left in the third period.
Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera blocked Skille's shot with his right pad and then pounced on the puck before Skille or one of his teammates could get to the rebound.
• Potential owner Matthew Hulsizer attended the game. During an interview with Todd Walsh of Fox Sports Arizona during the second intermission, Hulsizer said he was pleased with the progress he was making in his bid to purchase the team.
• The Coyotes posted their first win of the season in a game in which they fell behind 1-0. Phoenix entered the game with a 0-5-2 record in games in which their opponent scored the first goal.
• Goalie Jason LaBarbera earned his first win of the season and raised his career record to 4-0-0 vs. Chicago. He has allowed just 10 goals in five career games vs. the Blackhawks.
• The Coyotes flew back to Phoenix after the game. The team will practice at the Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The practice is open to the public. Phoenix's next game is on Friday vs. the Calgary Flames at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"That’s kind of your job as a backup. You don’t play much, and when you do, you’ve got to play well. You’re limited to your opportunities, so you don’t want to blow them. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck this year, so it was a game I had to focus on and knew I had to come up with a good effort tonight."
"It was a bit of a shaky first, but we came out and really played hard in the second period. We've been losing lots of games in overtime, lots of close ones. It's really nice to win a close one."
"This was a frustrating loss... The best chance to score in this league is by going into tough areas and looking for the ugly goals. When you try to manufacture empty-net goals and pretty plays, it usually results in a quality opportunity on the rush against you."