Radim Vrbata scored in his third straight game and had the only goal in the shootout, lifting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Phoenix's recent surge and a visit by the reigning Stanley Cup champions set up a lively night and the first sellout at Jobing.com Arena since the home opener. Many were there to see the Blackhawks, but the Coyotes didn't seem to mind, overcoming a late power-play goal by Chicago's Duncan Keith to win their fourth straight.
Taylor Pyatt scored his 14th goal, coach Dave Tippett earned his 350th NHL win, and Ilya Bryzgalov only had to make one save in the shootout - on Jonathan Toews - as Chicago missed the net on two of its three chances. Bryzgalov stopped 31 shots through overtime.
Vrbata beat Corey Crawford on a nice backhander in the shootout.
Troy Brouwer had a power-play goal in the second period, and Keith got one with 4 minutes left in regulation to tie the game, but Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa both missed the net in the shootout to send the Blackhawks to their sixth loss in eight games - second straight in a shootout.
Chicago was coming off one of its most painful losses of the season. The Blackhawks blew a three-goal, first-period lead to lose to Dallas in a shootout, and lost right wing Fernando Pisani (head) and center Ryan Johnson (upper body) to injuries. They were both out against Phoenix - Johnson was placed on the injured list before the game - but left wing Viktor Stalberg was back after leaving with an upper body injury against the Stars.
The Blackhawks seemed fresh off the loss, though, dominating the opening 10 minutes. They just couldn't get a puck past Bryzgalov, who turned away a couple of shots from close range on a power play. He stopped another shot from his belly on a rebound during the opening outburst.
After withstanding the initial flurry, the Coyotes took their turn at turning up the pressure, leading to Vrbata's breakaway goal after the Blackhawks got caught in the neutral zone. Vrbata used a deke left to get Crawford to go down, then lifted his fourth goal in three games over the goalie's left pad.
Pyatt needed 42 seconds of the second to make it 2-0, wristing a shot between the legs of defenseman Jordan Hendry and off the crossbar over Crawford's shoulder for his 14th.
Chicago mustered a response on a crisp power play late in the period, when Hossa, back from missing a game with the flu, hit Brouwer on a short pass for a one-timer from the edge of the right circle.
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure into the third, but needed most of the period to get Keith's equalizer on a tip-in after Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin was called for delay of game for flipping a puck over the glass.