Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews returned to the lineup after a concussion, and scored a goal and added an assits, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Phoenix Coyotes. Martin Hanzal’s goal almost 10 minutes into overtime was the difference as the Coyotes drew first blood in their first round matchup.
Mike Smith was stellar in the Phoenix net, making 43 saves to earn the win. Former Senator Antoine Vermette and Taylor Pyatt scored in regulation for the Coyotes, while Brent Seabrook added to Toews’ marker to send the game into overtime.
With the rumoured impending move of the Coyotes as soon as this off-season, Phoenix seems to have put the distraction aside as they look to win their first playoff series since they moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix.
Of note to poolies, leading goal-scorer Radim Vrbata left the game in the first period with a head injury, and is listed as day to day.
Game 2 goes Saturday night in Phoenix.