Blackhawks’ wild-card window practically closes with 1-Zero loss to Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Blackhawks ambushed the Coyotes with seven targets after they met on the United Middle two weeks in the past. This sport was nothing like that.

The Hawks’ once-powerhouse offense can’t get something going recently and couldn’t escape of its droop in a 1-Zero loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday. The loss leaves them 5 factors out of the second wild card with six video games left.

“We performed so properly — I believe we deserved higher,” goaltender Corey Crawford mentioned. “They performed fairly good, too.

“We’re nonetheless in it. Simply acquired to prepare for the subsequent sport.”

The Blackhawks have been tight defensively in opposition to the Coyotes, however this aim was the distinction. | Ross D. Franklin/AP

They’ve barely been hanging within the wild-card race and nonetheless had an outdoor shot after salvaging an extra time win over the Avalanche on Sunday. With the Coyotes and Wild sputtering the final two weeks, there was a possibility to leap them, nevertheless it’s shrinking.

The Avalanche are clinging to the ultimate playoff spot at 81 factors, and the Coyotes hit 81 with the win, although they’ve performed yet one more sport. These groups play one another Friday in Denver, so considered one of them is assured of getting two factors and growing their lead over the Hawks.

The Wild are subsequent at 79, adopted by the Hawks at 76. The Hawks have one sport in hand over the Wild and Coyotes.

“That one hurts,” mentioned coach Jeremy Colliton, who added that the Hawks will push as exhausting as doable for so long as they’re mathematically within the hunt. “We wanted that one.”

His workforce, which was second within the NHL in targets from mid-December via mid-March, has scored 11 in its final six video games regardless of averaging 33.three pictures on aim.

As has been the case for the Hawks’ previous couple of video games, this one had a decent, playoff-like really feel to it. They fired off 31 pictures, however few have been prime appears. Neither workforce acquired many alternatives to race off on odd-man rushes.

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“I simply suppose each groups didn’t wish to give something up,” Colliton mentioned. “Puck was bouncing loads, so it was not a variety of clear performs being made on the market. However we have been high-quality. They discovered a technique to get a puck within the internet.”

The Coyotes broke a scoreless tie 5 minutes into the third interval on an influence play after Brent Seabrook dedicated a tripping penalty. The Hawks held them off for a minute earlier than Nick Cousins chipped in a rebound from simply exterior the crease.

Colliton tried to drag Crawford for an additional attacker with 2:25 remaining, however the Coyotes didn’t give him time. Then Duncan Keith acquired whistled for tripping whereas he tried to forestall a breakaway, and the Coyotes have been on energy play the remainder of regulation.

Crawford continued his terrific run by stopping 27 of 28 pictures. He has a .948 save share his final 9 video games.

Colliton lastly acquired him to the bench with a couple of minute left, however there was no benefit gained with Keith nonetheless within the field. The Hawks’ greatest have a look at the top was an extended shot by Jonathan Toews.

It was the second time in three video games the Hawks didn’t get any scoring from their energy trio of Toews, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Kane has two targets in his final 14 video games, Toews has 4 in 16 and DeBrincat has two in 12.

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