Sunday, March 18, 2011
Posted 9:32 p.m. Updated 10:43 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
GLENDALE, Ariz. Chris Campoli had been looking for his first goal with the Chicago Blackhawks since he was traded to them at the deadline.
He couldnt have picked a better time to convert.
Campoli scored the game-winner on a power play late in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 at Jobing.com Arena on Sunday night. The victory put the Blackhawks back into fifth place in the Western Conference.
But it came at a cost. Patrick Sharp went down with an apparent left knee injury when Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla collided with him with 1:35 left in the first period. Sharp did not return, and coach Joel Quenneville said he would be re-evaluated on Monday.
Keith: No replacing Sharp
We dont now for sure, Quenneville said of how long Sharp could be out. Weve definitely lost a couple guys in the last stretch. Hopefully (Brian Campbell) can come back and well see about Sharpy.
Corey Crawford stopped 22 of 23 shots, including two critical ones in the closing minutes, to preserve the regulation victory.
The Blackhawks only had two power plays on the night -- their second came on a questionable-at-best holding call on Phoenix captain Shane Doan but they took advantage of both. Duncan Keith scored on the first advantage, and the Blackhawks scored on six of 10 power plays against Phoenix this season.
We know the power play and penalty kill is a big deal in the playoffs and these games here are as close as it gets to playoff-style hockey, said Jonathan Toews, who fed Campoli the pass through the crease on the winner. It was kind of a slow-motion play where all he had to do was get good wood on it and he made no mistakes. Obviously it was a huge goal for us.
For Campoli, it was also a weight off the shoulders. The defenseman, acquired from Ottawa on Feb. 28, has had some good scoring chances since arriving in Chicago. So Sundays goal was especially sweet.
Toewser saw me going, gave me a great pass and we executed it the way we do in practice. It worked out well, he said. Its huge.
Quenneville said hes had some great looks, had some great opportunities. It was a great play and a great finish. It was a nice start in the goal-scoring department for him.
The Blackhawks didnt allow the Coyotes much their lone goal was an Eric Belanger shot that hit off Nick Leddy and past Crawford.
It wasnt the prettiest win but we did what we had to do, said Keith, who was back with old partner Brent Seabrook as the game wore on Sunday. I thought we deserved to win tonight. We had a lot of chances and the good thing is we won in regulation.
The Blackhawks banded together a man down. It didnt have to be pretty. It just had to yield them two points.
I thought we had a defense-first mentality, especially after the outing (on Thursday), Campoli said. We wanted to bounce back. Good teams find a way to do that, and we did that tonight.
The Blackhawks have had their share of injuries this season and may be missing another star depending on the severity of Sharps knee injury. If hes out for a bit, the Blackhawks said theyll find a way to press on.
Its just the story of the year, Toews said. Weve had a lot of guys go down. As frustrating as it is for those individuals, they always battle back and bring a lot when theyre ready to play again. Hes going to hurry back as quickly as he can. For the time being were going to have to step it up and find a way to score goals and create offense.
The Blackhawks got through the final two periods on Sunday without Sharp by juggling lines throughout.
I thought the guys did a good job of trying to fill in and step up, Keith said. When guys go down you need others to fill the void and tonight we did that.
Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1000th NHL game on Sunday night. Keith was part of the video tribute. Aucoin spent two seasons with the Blackhawks.
Forward Ben Smith was recalled from Rockford for Sundays game as a precautionary move. Smith, who found out he was being called up prior to Rockfords game on Saturday, was a healthy scratch against Phoenix. He was reassigned to Rockford immediately after the game.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.