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Snap Judgments: Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes (10.21.17)

Stefanie Rodríguez/ALOST
Chicago’s Patrick Kane (r.) got past all of the Coyotes players, including defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, before scoring on a breakaway in the second period to give the Blackhawks the lead. (Stefanie Rodríguez/ALOST)

 

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Along with scoring from its well-known superstars, this year’s Chicago Blackhawks, like many others in recent years, also showcase forward depth, as seen in its latest win starting a mini road trip.

Fourth-line winger Lance Bouma scored the game winner late in the third period and his center man on the checking line, Tommy Wingels, added an empty net goal to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night, a result that keeps the Coyotes as the only winless team in the National Hockey League.

Both Wingels and Bouma were signed in the offseason to provide depth, and both had a huge hand in lifting the ‘Hawks to victory in the late stages of the game. With just under five minutes remaining in regulation and the score knotted at two, Wingels tipped a Duncan Keith point shot towards goal and forced a save from Coyotes goalkeeper Louis Domingue. The rebound was pounced on by Bouma in front of the net for his first goal of the season at 15:36 of the third.

The two reversed roles later in the third with the Coyotes having pulled the goalie for the extra man, as Bouma provided the primary assist for Wingels, who eluded a defender near the red line before shooting into the empty net to seal the Blackhawks’ fifth victory (5-2-2).

Wingels thought he had doubled the Blackhawks’ lead a period earlier, when Chicago was holding on to a 2-1 lead. The pressure from the fourth line allowed Wingels to move in alone on Domingue, but the former was pulled down from behind on a hook by Max Domi. A penalty shot was awarded, and Wingels thought he had scored on a nifty backhand-to-forehand move before slotting home past Domingue. After replay, however, it was determined that Domingue, while attempting a poke check, got a piece of the puck on Wingels’ deke, ending the penalty shot attempt at that point per NHL rules.

The overturned call soon proved even bigger factor as Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored late in the second period to tie the game at two. It stayed that way until Chicago’s fourth line put it away late in the third.

Wingels missed on his breakaway chance in the second, but Patrick Kane buried a breakaway from open play earlier in the second to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Not surprisingly, it was Jonathan Toews who set Kane towards the net with a perfect head-man pass from inside of his own zone, and Kane wound up scoring his third goal of the season.

Arizona (0-7-1) remains the only winless team in the league, only registering a single point after eight games while being outscored 34-18. The lone bright spot in the game and in the season for the Coyotes was the rookie phenom Keller, who scored his sixth goal of the season at the 18:14 mark. Keller’s six goals now leads all rookies in the league in that category.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from tonight’s game, with all photos taken by photographer Stefanie Rodríguez. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 14 pictures in total.

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