Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/22/12
GLENDALE, Ariz. The ghosts of Coyotes past came dancing across the Jobing.com Arena ice two minutes and 44 seconds into overtime on Saturday. It was 13 years ago, that Scott Young scored in Game 5 in overtime in Phoenix to keep the St. Louis Blues alive in a series they finally won in seven games. It's been 13 series since the CoyotesJets have won one of these postseason affairs. And Jonathan Toews has 13 letters in his name. But who's counting? Coyotes fans were three deep into their six-packs when Toews brought the Valley-wide party to a screeching halt with a brilliant individual effort on which he won the face-off in the Phoenix zone, won a board battle to keep the puck, then rifled a high, hard one past erstwhile impenetrable Mike Smith to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 win that forced a sixth game Monday in Chicago with the Coyotes still up 3-2. "The series is far from over," Toews said. "We're not going to give them anything easily." Easy doesn't reside with this franchise. Never has. This was supposed to be the payoff for 15 years of frustration. This was going to be the night when team resilient finally cashed in on all the hard and largely anonymous work it's put in over the past three years. The ownership saga. The cap constraints. The half-empty buildings in November and December. All of those were books for the bon fire. Smith was brilliant again, turning aside all comers, and the Coyotes got a second-period goal from fourth-liner Gilbert Brule that looked like it just might stand up. But Phoenix failed to build on the lead, coming up short on scant scoring chances and four opportunities from its tragically flawed power play. "Not just build on the lead, just build some momentum," coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't generate a lot in the game. You like to see your power play go out there and generate some momentum and we struggled with our execution on it." Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy made that matter when he ripped a high shot through a Dave Bolland screen at 9:15 of the third period to tie the score. The goal forced a fifth straight overtime in this series, the first time that has happened since 1951 when Toronto and Montreal did the deed. "Tough on the ticker," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said while tapping his heart. "Never a dull moment." And so it will be for the Coyotes. Once again. Hockey the hard way. Phoenix should feel confident heading back to the United Center since it has won all four of its games there this season. The Coyotes were also the second-best road team in the Western Conference this season. "We're pretty comfortable playing on the road," captain Shane Doan said. "We've got to go out there and find a way to win." It sounds simple, but if that's the case why is a city's worth of hockey fans holding its collective breath. Why do those seven-game series losses to Anaheim, St. Louis and Detroit keep creeping into the head? Why does Chicago's ability to rally from a 3-0 deficit last season against Vancouver seem so relevant? They are, and they will be until Phoenix finds the right holy water to finally exorcise those demons. "We'll focus on Game 6 before Game 7," Tippett said with grim smile. "That's for sure."
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