April 21, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Blackhawks beat the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Game #2 Chicago Blackhawks (1-0-0) at Phoenix Coyotes
TV-TSN NBCSN CSN
Time– 9pm Central Time
Preview– One Word….Revenge!!! Revenge for different reasons from making up for their second consecutive first round loss this time to the hands of the Coyotes and for the Coyotes taking Marian Hossa out last season except for the fact that Raffi Torres is still suspended! The Blackhawks will still have to solve Mike Smith who spoiled great opportunity after great chance that the Hawks had during the 6 game series only to hold on until the Coyotes could crack Corey Crawford or Crawford would let in a soft goal.
Game #1 for the Hawks couldn’t have gone any better in LA! The Hawks jumped out to a fast start something they struggled mightly last season and had a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission getting huge efforts from all their stars from Hossa, Toews and Kane. All the reports of Hossa being fully recovered were true with a 2 goal game, and even though he had been suffering from flu like symptoms Toews also had a goal and an assist. The best part of the night is that Crawford stopped all but two shots in the 5-2 win.
The Coyotes started their season in Dallas, and Mike Smith like Jonathan Quick didn’t start out the season like they ended it. Like a good starting MLB pitcher you have to jump on these good goalies early (both in games and in the season) before they get hot! It will be the home opener for the Coyotes so the crowd will be excited and loud. It will be imperative for the Hawks jump out to an early lead like the Kings game instead of letting the Coyotes hang around like they did the entire playoff series.
Prediction– Mike Smith owns the Hawks but so did Quick last season. The revenge factor with a healthy Toews and Hossa lead to a tight road 3-2 win.
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