Blackhawks-Coyotes Game 2: More Late Drama, Bryan Bickell Wins It In OT

The Blackhawks didn’t tie the Coyotes until there were 14 seconds left in Game One.

They waited until there were only five seconds left in regulaton to take Game Two to overtime, but this time the results were different. Bryan Bickell broke a tied game and tied the series with a dramatic overtime tally.

For much of regulation, the officials were the story. Two of the three Coyotes goals were scored during questionable power plays (one during an interference call on Jonathan Toews, the other during the major penalty assessed on Andrew Shaw). But the players were given an opportunity to decide the game in the third period, and the Hawks came through before the clock expired yet again.

And, again, Brent Seabrook was in the middle of the action. Seabrook unloaded a missile from the point with an extra attacker on the ice, and the traffic in front of Mike Smith provided by Toews and Patrick Sharp was enough to get the puck into the back of the net. Sharp was ultimately credited with the goal.

The first two Blackhawks goals were… far from expected. Bickell scored a power play goal just 3:05 into the game, and Brandon Bollig scored his first NHL goal to tie the game at two just under seven minutes into the second period.

In the overtime, after an epic shift from Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Sharp, an ugly turnover by Adrian Aucoin (on a nice play by Viktor Stalberg) found Bickell in the middle of the ice wide open. A nasty wrist shot got past Smith, and the Blackhawks tied the series.

Bickell skated 16:43 and was active as he has been in his brief NHL career. He was credited with a team-leading seven hits and scored two of the Hawks’ four goals.

Bollig came out of the dressing room to start the second period and threw his weight around during his first few shifts, hitting anything in the wrong colored sweater. His release from just inside the blue line was clean, and he became the first Blackhawks player since Warren Rychel (April 6, 1991 vs. Minnesota) to have his first NHL point come on a postseason goal.

Corey Crawford stood on his head all night, especially late in the third period. The official stats say Crawford only made five saves in the final 20 minutes of regulation, but every one of them was a huge save on a quality attempt. Crawford was strong into the overtime period as well, finishing with 30 saves against 33 shots and a victory.

Toews was more confident on his skates and appeared to be closer to the 100 percent Toews that was in the conversation for the Hart Trophy when he got hurt. He was back to winning a significant majority of his faceoffs and was initiating contact; he was credited with four hits in the game.

Sharp was also surprisingly physical in the game. He was credited with seven hits to go with his game-tying goal at the end of regulation. Sharp also blocked two shots.

Seabrook was again the best player on the blue line for Chicago, skating 31:32 in the game. He was credited with one assist, on the game-tying goal, one blocked shot and five hits.

Dave Bolland, Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy, Duncan Keith, Kane, Hossa and Stalberg were credited with assists in the game.

Game Three will be at the United Center on Tuesday night. If the first two games are any indication, an overtime thriller is more than likely.

14 thoughts on “Blackhawks-Coyotes Game 2: More Late Drama, Bryan Bickell Wins It In OT

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Is this a glimpse of the playoff Bickell we’ve seen in the past? The 2nd and 3rd periods were getting hard to watch, but glad we found a way. What a game by Crawford. Cya in Chicago Yotes!

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Great Game. You are absolutely right Tab the Officials were the story. The call on JT for Goal Tender interference was aweful, as was the call on Shaw.

    Crawford was unbelievable. And I think the shake up of the lines worked very very well.

    Hopefully the Mad House is Rocking next week and we can take hold of this series.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

    The refs were awful once again…the Toews call in particular was BRUTAL…but the Hawks hung in there…Bickell and Seabrook were outstanding tonight, and Crawford made the big saves when he had to, which allowed them to come back…

    But before anyone thinks this series is now somehow over, remember, it took the Hawks scoring goals in the dying seconds both games, just to get them to OT…and also remember, we have put 95 shots on goal in 2 games just to keep things close…those numbers are going to be hard replicate…

    Go Hawks!

  • April 15, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Brad you thought the 45 shots in game 1 was impressive and then we put up 50 in game 2. They are just getting warmed up :)

  • April 15, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I hate Michael Smith Sedin so much now. Throwing off both gloves and laying on the ice like you’ve been shot is one thing. But then faking an injury to draw a 5 minute major—I hate players who do that. Just play the game. The NHL needs to borrow a rule from the NFL: If a player stays down and need on-ice medical attention b/c he’s shaken up, he needs to come off until the next whistle.

    And by the way, Michael Smith Sedin (and everyone who slurps him), Corey Crawford is now officially outplaying you. You’ve now given up two soft goals and Crawford kept Chicago in the series in that last 5 minutes when the D had to leave him high and dry.

    How about Bickell’s goal? 5-hole completely fooled Smith Sedin. That is a goal scorer’s goal right there.

  • April 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Since the Hawks got rid of Byfuglien I had my hopes up that Bickell would take his place as a big, strong skating, power forward (I know Buff played a bit of D) with a great touch, but he has only disappointed. I’m thrilled to see him play up to his potential. But in being non-existent for long periods, he truly is playing like Buff. In the short term, I hope he can keep it on, like Buff did in 2010, but I really hope he doesn’t slack come the start of next season (not being immediately familiar with his contract situation).

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

    The officiating in the Playoffs this year has been highly questionable and downright awful in this series. Going back to Game 1 you had a missed too many men call on the Coyotes which directly led to a goal and a couple of trips and hooks on each team. Tonight you had the Toews call and whatever that was on Shaw. Shaw should not be suspended but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Shanny give him 2 games.

    I thought the Hawks played terrible for most of the game tonight and once again got a lucky late goal to tie the game. The Hawks were losing races to the puck, not strong on the boards, playing too wide and not driving the net. They can’t keep playing like this if they expect to win. Does it really take the last minute and 6 men on the ice to get a goal past the flopper, Mike Smith? The Hawks need to get some men in front of the net earlier in the game because it is obviuosly working.

    On another note, it’s good to see Bickell finally making his presence felt in the series. I thought the Bolly/Bickell/Shaw line was good in Game 1 but couldn’t finish the job. They looked good again tonight and finally got on the board. The Hawks need all 4 lines producing in order to continue doing damage in this series.

    At the end of it all, the Hawks go back home tied at 1. Good stuff.

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    It is one thing to be a Hawks fan and complain about this series and some of the calls against them, but holy cow, across the board there have been awful calls in every game this round of the playoffs. NYR-OTT, DET-NSH, STL-SJS…there has been all-around poor officiating during all of these games. It feels like its a Ray Charles – Helen Keller – Stevie Wonder trio reffing these games, and a house plant – hand broom level of intelligence for deciding the repercussions for some of these hits.

    at any rate, go Hawks!

  • April 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Crawford was great late in the game, and it looks like his confidence is growing. Sharp was much better. Hossa was ok, but he can be better. Keith really needs to stop winding up for a slap shot from the point when an opposing forward is directly in front of him.

    I would still like to see Hayes and Saad in for Bolig and Brunette. They can both score and are defensively responsible, and Hayes can be physical. Saad is available since his Junior team was elliminated from playoffs.

  • April 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    @Chris: you’re saying both Hayes & Saad can score and are defensively responsible. What have you seen that makes you so sure of this? Saad’s been playing against teenages since October, and Hayes hasn’t been on the ice for the Hawks in 2 weeks.

  • April 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Bollig had a goal last night and darn near had a couple more, he has a great shot and is very defensively responsible. And if Phoenix gets a little testy or chipy Bollig is a great guy to have on the ice. As for Bruno, Bruno does everything u want except skate with pace he is slow. However, when Q moved him to the Kane and Hossa line he played much better.

  • April 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I really like Bollig’s makeup. Not just saying that because he scored last night… I’ve posted as such before.

    On a team that lacks physicality, he’s extremely important. He has a sneaky-deceptive shot, he backchecks, he hits everything in sight, he chirps and agitates, and he’s a good-to-great NHL fighter. If we had carbomb, then Hayes for Bollig makes sense. Right now, this team needs Bollig.

    Crawford is outplaying Smith through 2 games. God it feels good to type that.

  • April 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Bruno does everything you want except stay onsides and pick up the third man on the back check. I forget if it was the second or third period but he single handedly let a 3 on 3 turn into a 3 on 2 b/c he was either a) too slow to stay with his man or b) had a mental lapse that you wouldn’t expect from a vet.

    Yes, the Bruno/Kane/Hoss line played well as a unit down the stretch but Bruno could not score to save his life when Kane was playing great. He’s fourth line at best. I’d rather see speed at that position—why not let Frolik, Hayes, or Saad eat 8 mins and see what they can do?

  • April 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Tab in all fairness to Chris’ comment, maybe I would not want to see Saad but definitely Hayes over Brunette, anyone over Brunette, even Frolik.

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