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Toews' Surprise Goal Has Coyotes Facing 1-0 Deficit At First Intermission

In some ways, the Phoenix Coyotes must have felt a bit snakebitten after the first period of Thursday's Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

They trailed 1-0 on an early goal by the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, the Chicago captain who is in his first game back after missing the last 22 games of the regular season with a concussion. Toews came out from behind the net to take a pass from teammate Patrick Kane and send in a difficult shot from the side of the net. As good as Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith has been this season, even he didn't seem to be expecting that difficult-angle flip.

Phoenix is also without right wing Radim Vrbata, their leading scorer with 35 goals this season, who has been out of the game since the opening moments when he took a hard hit and came off the ice.

Coyotes fans must be used to their team playing from behind in the playoffs, and must be wondering if the team is destined for another quick playoff exit. But the Coyotes showed some life at times in the first period and their defense has played well despite the constant Blackhawks attack.