By Jon Fromi
Jonathan Toews made an impressive return to the lineup Thursday as the Chicago Blackhawks opened their Western Conference Quarterfinal in Phoenix, tallying a goal and assist. Despite Toews and a late surge to the tie the contest, the Hawks succumbed in overtime as the Coyotes bested Chicago 3-2.
The Coyotes tried to establish a physical tone from the opening faceoff, but it was Andrew Shaw who registered a bit hit on Radim Vrbata that sent Phoenix’s leading goal scorer to the dressing room. Shaw had an open look on a rebound on the ensuing trip down the ice, but Coyotes goalie Mike Smith turned it away.
Toews got the scoring started with his play in the fourth minute. Gaining control of the puck behind the Phoenix net, the captain attempted to center to Patrick Kane. Toews wound up gathering in the failed connection and shoveled a backhand that escaped the grasp of Smith. At the 4:04 mark, the Blackhawks led 1-0. Read more