Found April 13, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
2005_national_hockey_5b8a
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Martin Hanzal fills a lot of roles. Hes the Coyotes' shutdown center against opponents' top talent. Hes an adept face-off man. He creates space for skilled wings Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney. Hes even a proud and attentive new father, as anyone who attended the Coyotes win over the Blue Jackets on April 3 can attest after watching him cradle 3-month-old Marty Jr. with a beaming face and smiling eyes. One role he hasnt filled? Goal scorer. Hanzal netted just eight this season despite his prolific linemates, and before Thursday night he hadnt netted one since Feb. 6, when he scored two against Detroit. Thanks for reminding me, he said, laughing. Not to worry. Its all good now after the Coyotes do-everything Czech redirected Adrian Aucoins shot past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford 9 minutes and 29 seconds into overtime to lift Phoenix to a 3-2 win over Chicago in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena. The win averted a potentially devastating loss when the Coyotes' coughed up the lead with 14.2 seconds left in regulation on Brent Seabrooks rebound goal. But thats been the Coyotes modus operandi all season. Whats a game-tying goal with 14.2 seconds left when youve already overcome ownership instability, a dearth of highly skilled forwards, the loss of your erstwhile star goalie in the offseason and the loss of Vrbata early in the first period on a hit by Chicagos Andrew Shaw? Weve shown resilience all year, goalie Mike Smith said. We did it again tonight. Nobody did it better than Smith. Phoenixs upgrade over the departed Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 43 shots to give the Coyotes a Game 1 win in a playoff series for just the second time in their eight playoff series since moving here in 1996. But his start had pessimists recalling Bryzgalovs playoff flops the past two seasons. In his first game back after missing the final 22 games of the regular season, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews beat Smith from a bad angle with a backhand to the short side just 4:04 into the game to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Prior to the series, Smith said he was approaching Game 1 the same way he had approached every regular-season game, but the sight of a sold-out WhiteOut crowd was a little more than he expected. I was kind of blown away by it, even in warmups, how white it really was out there. Ive never been in an arena like that, he said. The adrenaline was pumping. I was kind of stiff-legged in the first period -- wasnt playing the puck much and was kind of was stuck in my net. Obviously that goal cant happen, but it did, and I got over it and battled from there on in. The Coyotes may have to do the same if they lose Vrbata, the teams leading goal scorer in the regular season (35) for any length of time. Tippett said only that Vrbata is day-to-day without specifying the nature or area of the injury. If Phoenix gets secondary scoring like it did Thursday from Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette, this team has shown its capable of overcoming obstacles. And if the Coyotes start getting goals from Hanzal, he just might enjoy the level of national recognition captain Shane Doan says is nowhere near what it should be. Not even close -- by anybody, anywhere in the league, Doan said. Hes such a huge part of our team. We count on Marty to do everything. Hanzals son wasnt in the locker room Thursday to share dads special moment, but Marty Sr. figures hell find out in time. Ill tell him, but he wont get it, Hanzal said. He can watch it on YouTube in five years.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Coyotes rely on pack mentality without Vrbata

GLENDALE, Ariz. Coyotes captain Shane Doan understands the difficulty of competing without a top player in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was there in 1997 when Jeremy Roenick blew out his knee in a knee-on-knee collision with Anaheim center Ted Drury in Game 6 of a seven-game series loss that Phoenix had led three games to two. He was there in 1998 when the...

Hanzal helps Coyotes top Blackhawks in Game 1

Martin Hanzal scored at 9:29 of overtime to lift the host Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Thursday's opener of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. Hanzal redirected Adrian Aucoin's shot from the right point past Corey Crawford for the dramatic victory. Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored second-period goals and Mike Smith turned...

Coyotes get OT win over Blackhawks

Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without his stick during a power...

Coyotes notebook: OEL making himself known

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Lost in the hysteria of the Game 1 WhiteOut, a blown late lead and Martin Hanzals overtime dramatics was that fact that 20-year-old defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson logged a game-high 31 minutes, 14 seconds of ice time. For those doing the math, yes, thats darn near half of Thursdays 69-plus-minute game. I felt pretty good, Ekman-Larsson said. I played with a lot...

Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2, OT

Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without his stick during a power...

Drunk Coyotes Chick ‘Connie’ Missed Phoenix Beat Chicago In OT

Three items stand out in this video from last night’s Coyotes-Blackhawks NHL playoffs first-round game in Phoenix. (1.) St. Louis Blues fan is uber excited to be at a game featuring Phoenix & Chicago. (2.) Is Coyotes fan planning to take all five beer cups home with him? Having a hard time locating red Solo cups in the PHX, brah? (3.) Just look at the eyes on (we’re calling...

Coyotes open playoffs with OT win vs. Chicago

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Martin Hanzal scored 9:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Despite losing leading goal scorer Radim Vrbata to an injury early, Phoenix had a 2-1 lead after Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette scored in the second period. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stopped two shots without...

Coyotes, Blackhawks adjust to lineup changes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Within the first five minutes of Thursday's Western Conference quarterfinals opener between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes, it was clear both teams were playing with a new dynamic. The Blackhawks got Jonathan Toews back after a 22-game absence related to a concussion, and the young center made his presence felt quickly with a goal four minutes...

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at Phoenix Coyotes Game 2

The Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes will drop the puck tonight in Glendale, Ariz. for a Game 2 tilt. And there’s several factors in which the Blackhawks can capitalize to tie the series before going back to Chicago. Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes’ top goal-scorer left early in Game 1 with an upper-body injury. He’s day-to-day and will not play tonight. Mike...

Playoff Preview: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Coyotes really have bad luck with drawing the worst possible first round opponents possible as their first round matchup is the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that a lot of people think are good enough to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. That's not to say that Phoenix will be a complete pushover but the matchup doesn't look very good for them at all. There are a couple playoff...

Video- Coyotes Take Game 1 In OT

I watched the game last night but was too tired to wait, then post the GWG. So here it is,early then next morning and Martin Hanzal’s OT goal still looks as good as it did last night.

Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

We now embark on the greatest playoffs in all of sport, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the prize of which brings the toughest of men to tears and stamps and catapults previously solid National Hockey League (NHL) players to legend status. I will analyze the playoff series between each of the NHL Central Division teams participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs – the St. Louis Blues...

Blackhawks-Coyotes: The Experts’ Picks

So what do the experts think about the Blackhawks’ first round match-up with the Phoenix Coyotes? Let’s take a look: Phoenix in 7  Simulation has Chicago in 5

Blackhawks-Coyotes Preview

In the moments after clinching their first division title in 33 years as an NHL franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes shared a couple of hugs and pats on the helmet, then skated toward the tunnel leading to the locker room. As celebrations go, it wasn't much more emotion than they would have shown for any other game. That's because the division title isn't what they're...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.