Found April 15, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Just as they had been 48 hours earlier, the Blackhawks on Saturday were mere seconds from defeat Saturday night in Game 2 against the Coyotes. The clocked ticked toward zero and a two-game first-round deficit. But in a surreal episode of dj vu, a Chicago goal in the final moments of regulation forced overtime for a second straight game, and this time the Blackhawks capitalized on their last-second resurrection with a 4-3 overtime win. In Thursday's Game 1 it was Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook whose goal with just 14.2 seconds remaining sent the game to OT. Winger Patrick Sharp played the hero Saturday, deflecting a point shot from Seabrook into the net, this time with just 5.5 seconds left in regulation. "I knew (Seabrook) was going to pound it one last time with time running out, and I was able to get a stick on it," Sharp said. "I don't think I've ever seen that before, back-to-back games forcing overtime. I was just thankful we seized the opportunity and won this one." For that, the Blackhawks have Bryan Bickell to thank. Already having netted his first goal of the postseason three minutes into the first period, Bickell redirected a perfectly placed puck off teammate Viktor Stalberg's skate about halfway through the first overtime period to send the Blackhawks back to Chicago with a win and an tie series. "That was very exciting, but the biggest thing was we got the win," Bickell said. "We needed a win in this building. "I think I've had better games, but the puck was flying to me tonight. It was exciting to get the goal to give the team the win." The win not only helped the Blackhawks avoid another overtime heartbreaker but also eliminated the prospect of playing from a two-game hole. And not just any two-game hole but one that would have seen them rise from the dead twice only to come up empty-handed with the series headed back to the United Center. To a man, the Blackhawks characterized the difference between a two-game deficit and a tied series as nothing less than a monumental shift in momentum. "It's a huge difference," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. "Especially just winning the second game, and now we're going home with a lot of momentum and excitement. We're looking forward to playing in our own building. That's something that when you get it, you can't let it go. You've got to use it to your advantage." Added Sharp: "It's a huge difference, no question. It feels good to get a win, especially on the road. We're excited to go home for Game 3 to get our fans in our building. We learn in the playoffs every year that the next game is always the biggest, so we'll enjoy this and be ready for the next one." The significance of taking the series back to Chicago knotted at one game apiece cannot be overstated for the Blackhawks. At the United Center, the Blackhawks owned a 27-8-6 record in the regular season. With a pair of wins at home, Chicago could push the series to the brink for Game 5 in Phoenix and steal home ice from the Coyotes. For as familiar as the do-or-die regulation pinch might have been Saturday, and even with the positive outcome, the Blackhawks insist they would still rather not have to pull their goalie as time runs out and hope for the best. "We don't want to be in that situation, but if we happen to be there, we know we're going to get chances and we're going to put some pressure on them," Toews said. "Again, we showed that you keep playing for 60 minutes, you're not going to dominate every shift, but if you keep playing right to the end, we can get them on their heels and try to create something there." All told, Saturday's game was the Blackhawks' third straight playoff game to go to overtime. Their Stanley Cup defense ended last season with a Game 7 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs. Third time must be the charm. "We never give up," Bickell said. "Scoring one with 14 seconds left and one with five seconds left to tie it up just shows the character in our room and that we can do what we need to do to win."
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Last Night's Results:Capitals 2, Bruins 1 (2OT)San Jose 0, St. Louis 3Senators 3, Rangers 2 (OT)Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)Quick Stats:Braden Holtby, WSH (43 Saves, .977 SV%)Chris Neil, OTT (1 goal, 1 assist)Bryan Bickell, (2 goals, 2 assists)Highlight of the night:The Chicago Blackhawks forced overtime for the second game in a row when they scored another late goal.
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