By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE -- Defenseman Chris Campoli scored a power-play goal late in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Coyotes, 2-1, on Sunday night at Jobing.com Arena to snap Phoenix’s five-game winning streak in the first game of their six-game homestand at Jobing.com Arena.
Despite the loss, the Coyotes remained in fourth place in the tight Western Conference standings, three points behind the Pacific Division-leading San Jose and three points ahead of the fifth-place Blackhawks. Phoenix has eight games left in the regular season.
With the score tied 1-1, referee Paul Devorski called Coyotes captain Shane Doan for holding at the 11:40 mark of the third period. With the power play nearing expiration, Campoli, whom the Blackhawks acquired from Ottawa before the trade deadline, wristed a shot past Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from the left side with 6:34 left in regulation (see KEY MOMENT below).
Later in the period, the Coyotes pulled Bryzgalov and that created several decent opportunities to tie the score. Ray Whitney had the best chance with just under two minutes left, but Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford preserved the lead.
After the game, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett was asked about the holding penalty called on Doan that led to the deciding goal.
“I don’t understand it,” Tippett said. “I don’t understand it at all. To me there’s no hold whatsoever there. It’s disappointing that a call can have an impact like that in a very competitive game in a very tight playoff race.”
Photo by Getty Images.
The game was scoreless until the 19:30 mark of the first period when a slap shot by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith beat Bryzgalov during the first of Chicago’s two power plays.
Coyotes center Eric Belanger tied the score 1-1 with 1:17 left in the second period when his shot from just outside the right faceoff circle deflected off Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and past goaltender Corey Crawford.
Crawford stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced en route to his 28th victory of the season, while Bryzgalov stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the losing effort.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp left the game after suffering a knee injury in the first period. He did not return for the rest of the game.
Tied 1-1, Blackhawks defenseman Chris Campoli took a cross-crease pass from captain Jonathan Toews and banged the puck into the left side of the Phoenix net before Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov could move into proper position.
"It was a slow motion kind of play," Toews said. "All he had to do was get good wood on it and he made no mistakes."
• Defenseman Adrian Aucoin – who was the Blackhawks captain for two seasons – played in his 1,000th NHL game. Aucoin is the 264th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games and the 10th player – including teammate Ed Jovanovski – to reach the milestone this season. Click here to read more.
• Center Eric Belanger's goal was his 13th of the season and his fourth in the last seven games.
• The Coyotes' next game is Tuesday vs. St. Louis at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"It was a good game. We were in it, they were in it. It was a fun game up until the end. I have way too much respect for (referee) Paul Devorski to make any comment on (the holding penalty). I know he is trying, I just don’t want to say anything about it."
"The first five minutes we were very rusty from coming back from that road trip, but after that we were moving well. It was a high-tempo game and their two goals on the power play were the difference in the game."
"It’s huge. As of late we’ve kind of stumbled and teams have caught us breathing down our necks. To get the two points in regulation, it’s crucial coming down the stretch and we know how big a game it was."
• Nov. 10, 2010: PHX 2, CHI 1 • Feb. 27, 2011: CHI 4, PHX 3 (OT)
• Feb. 12, 2011: PHX 3, CHI 2 (SO) • March 20, 2011: CHI 2, PHX 1
1 - 0 CHI
1 - 1 Tie