By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE --Radim Vrbata scored the lone shootout goal to lead the Coyotes over the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Jobing.com Arena.
Vrbata also scored the first goal of the game at 15:06 of the first period to give the Coyotes, who have won four games in a row, a 1-0 lead. Vrbata snuck a wrist shot past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for his fourth goal in the past three games.
Taylor Pyatt gave Phoenix (29-19-9) a two-goal cushion just 42 seconds into the second period when he rattled a shot into the net.
Chicago cut the lead in half when Troy Brouwer’s wrist shot beat Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on a power play at the 13:17 mark of the second period.
While clinging to a 2-1 lead, Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin tipped the puck over the glass for a delay-of-game penalty with 4:19 left in regulation. The Blackhawks (28-22-6) parlayed the penalty into a second power-play goal. Duncan Keith scored it at 15:58.
Photo by Getty Images.
Bryzgalov made a huge save late in overtime after Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane got free for a breakaway (see KEY MOMENT below).
After misses by Shane Doan and Jonathan Toews, Vrbata backhanded a shot past Crawford to give Phoenix a 1-0 edge in the shootout. Kane, Ray Whitney and Marian Hossa all failed to score after Vrbata and the game was over.
Crawford turned aside 23 of the 25 shots he faced while Bryzgalov picked up his 23rd win of the season after stopping 31 of 33 shots.
"He's big in the net right now and he's giving our team confidence," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "That was a heck of a save (on Kane). That's one they call a game-saving save."
With the score tied at 2 in overtime, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane got behind the Phoenix defense and skated in at Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzaglov on a breakaway. With the game's outcome on the line, Bryzgalov stopped Kane's shot with 1:15 left in the extra period.
"I just closed my eyes and hoped he's not going to score," Bryzgalov said..