Mikkel Boedker scored 13:15 into the overtime period Tuesday night to give the Coyotes the 3-2 victory and the 2-1 series lead in their first-round matchup of the 2012 NHL Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Boedker snuck the game-winner past Corey Crawford from nearly the goal line on the left side of the ice. The goal was slightly reminiscent of the goal Patrick Kane scored to win the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in 2010. The game was the third consecutive overtime contest the teams have played.
Here is a video of Boedker's game-winner.
The storyline of this physical series has been injuries. Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski were already out with upper-body injuries for the Coyotes, but it is a hit by Raffi Torres in the first period that has people talking.
The gritty winger Torres put a shoulder into the chin of Blackhawks point-leader Marian Hossa midway through the first period. Hossa would lay on the ice for quite some time before being taken off in a stretcher. There was no call on the play, but it is expected that league officials will review the hit. Hossa led the Hawks with 77 points this season.
"After initial evaluation on the ice, (Hossa) was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further testing, which yielded encouraging results," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released by the Blackhawks after the game. "He has been released from the hospital and we are monitoring him closely at home."
Chicago scored a goal late in the first period on an Andrew Brunette redirection of a Patrick Kane shot to give them a 1-0 lead, and that slight lead would hold up until early in the third period when Rostislav Klesla would fire a rocket from the point past Crawford. The goal was the first of Klesla's career in the playoffs.
The teams would then trade goals just over 30 second apart.
Michael Frolik, who was inserted into the lineup for the suspended Andrew Shaw, played a strong game all night. Frolik picked up a rebound of a Brent Seabrook shot to put his team up 2-1 at the 8:49 mark of the third.
That lead would not last long though. Just seconds later at 9:21 the wizard, Ray Whitney, would put home his first of the 2012 playoffs and force overtime for the third consecutive game.
If Torres is suspended, it could have big implications for the Coyotes. With Hanzal and Korpikoski already out, the depth they once had is waning. Paul Bissonnette, Gilbert Brule and Kyle Chipchura were all in the lineup Tuesday, and have all been healthy scratches this series.
Game 4 will be played Thursday night at the United Center in Chicago, and the puck is scheduled to drop at 5 p.m. MST.