By Brad Gardner
Another serviceable effort from the Blackhawks resulted in no points as they dropped their eighth straight game, falling to the Coyotes by a score of 3-0. The ‘Hawks found themselves in an early hole and did not have any comebacks in them tonight against a 38-save shutout from red-hot goalie Mike Smith in the Phoenix net.
The Blackhawks faced an uphill battle early with Phoenix scoring two goals in the first six minutes of the opening period. Radim Vrbata continued to light up the ‘Hawks, registering his 26th goal of the season and third against Chicago when his pass from behind the net deflected into the net off defenseman Sami Lepisto. Viktor Stalberg was unable to clear the puck from the defensive zone and Ray Whitney and Vrbata attacked with a give-and-go the other way. Vrbata used his speed to skate in behind and Lepisto was in an unfortunate position as Vrbata tried to get the puck back to the front of the net, deflecting in the opening goal at 3:14 of the first period. Continue reading »