Coyotes shut down Blackhawks

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 12, 2012
Mike Smith made 38 saves for his third shutout of the season to help the Phoenix Coyotes win their fifth straight game, 3-0 over the fading Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. Radim Vrbata, Boyd Gordon and Kyle Chipchura scored for the Coyotes, three points behind Chicago in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix is in eighth place in the West, two points ahead of Colorado, which lost to St. Louis 3-2 in overtime earlier Saturday. The Blackhawks lost their eighth straight overall - their longest skid since the 2007-08 season - and 10th in a row on the road. Chicago's last win was Jan. 20 against Florida. Smith had 14 NHL shutouts. After allowing 10 goals in its previous two games, the Blackhawks gave up two in the first 5:58. Vrbata scored his 26th goal of the season just over 3 minutes into the game. Coming from behind the net, Vrbata's wraparound deflected off the Chicago's Sami Lepisto and behind goalie Ray Emery. Less than 3 minutes later, the Coyotes Gordon, standing just to the right of Emery, slammed in his seventh of the season. The Blackhawks tested Smith midway through the second period. After taking a shot in the mask from Patrick Sharp, Smith shook off the impact and stopped Jonathan Toews twice in close within seconds. Chipchura scored midway through the second period. With a 2-on-1 against Chicago rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen, Chipchura converted a perfect pass from Gilbert Brule into his second goal of the season. NOTES: In a pregame ceremony, the Coyotes retired Jeremy Roenick's No. 97. ... The standing-room only crowd of 17,353 was the Coyotes' third sellout of the season. ... With two assists, Brule had his second multipoint game since joining Phoenix on Jan. 12. ... The Blackhawks were shut out for the sixth time this season.
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