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Coyotes KO Blackhawks in six

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, center, is greeted by Ray Whitney, left, and Keith Yandle after his second-period goal opens the scoring for Phoenix.

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Oliver Ekman-Larsson, center, is greeted by Ray Whitney, left, and Keith Yandle after his second-period goal opens the scoring for Phoenix.

CHICAGO — Mike Smith had 39 saves and the Coyotes scored three times in the final period to beat the Blackhawks 4-0 Monday night and capture their opening-round Western Conference series in six games.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the second and Gilbert Brule, Antoine Vermette and Kyle Chipchura had goals in the third as the Coyotes won a series for the first time since 1987 when the franchise was in Winnipeg. The team moved to Phoenix for the 1996-97 season.

The Coyotes won all three games at the United Center — Monday night's game was the first in the series not to be decided in overtime.

The Coyotes next face the fourth-seeded Predators, with Phoenix, the No. 3 seed as Pacific Division champ, owning home-ice advantage.

Smith, the former Lightning goalie, was steady all night and spectacular at times, especially early, in recording his first playoff shutout. He had 229 saves in the six games.

Chicago led 39-20 in shots, but after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks have been ousted two straight years in the first round.

Ekman-Larsson's long slap shot from the top of the slot on a power play beat a screened Corey Crawford at 13:14 of the second after Chicago had forced most of the action.

Chicago's elimination means the West winner will be a team that has never captured a Stanley Cup. St. Louis has been to the final three times, Los Angeles once. Neither Phoenix nor Nashville has ever advanced past the second round.

Coyotes 0 1 3 4
at Blackhawks 0 0 0 0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesChipchura, Pho (holding), 9:11; Keith, Chi (delay of game), 13:36.

Second Period1, Phoenix, Ekman-Larsson 1 (Yandle, Whitney), 13:14 (pp). PenaltiesJ.Toews, Chi (interference), 12:22; Langkow, Pho (tripping), 18:24.

Third Period2, Phoenix, Brule 2 (Chipchura), 2:24. 3, Phoenix, Vermette 4 (Boedker, Ekman-Larsson), 13:04 (pp). 4, Phoenix, Chipchura 1 (Brule, Langkow), 14:56. PenaltiesHayes, Chi, served by Stalberg, major-game misconduct (boarding), 8:47; Kane, Chi, misconduct, 17:10. Shots on GoalPhoenix 2-6-12—20. Chicago 16-12-11—39. Power-play opportunitiesPhoenix 2 of 4; Chicago 0 of 2. GoaliesPhoenix, M.Smith 4-2-0 (39 shots-39 saves). Chicago, Crawford 2-4-0 (20-16). A21,636 (19,717). T2:26.

Rangers force Game 7

OTTAWA — Game 7 at the Garden.

It's not necessarily what the top-seeded Rangers hoped for initially, but they're thrilled about it now.

Brad Richards scored the go-ahead goal and Derek Stepan had a goal and two assists as New York staved off elimination with a 3-2 victory against the Senators.

"We showed some desperation tonight," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said.

The East series heads back to New York for Game 7 on Thursday night.

Not even the return of Daniel Alfredsson, who missed three games with a concussion, in front of the fired-up home crowd at Scotiabank Place could help the No. 8 seed.

"I didn't really think that we played particularly well or worked particularly hard," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said.

Carl Hagelin returned for the Rangers after a three-game suspension for his elbow on Alfredsson.

New York got a long 5-on-3 after Nick Foligno was sent off for goalie interference — replays showed two Rangers guiding him into Hendrik Lundqvist — and Richards, the former Lightning star, beat Craig Anderson high at 17:08. That was soon followed by a back-breaker from Chris Kreider, his first NHL goal.

Rangers 0 3 0 3
at Senators 1 0 1 2

First Period1, Ottawa, Neil 2 (Gonchar, Foligno), 7:05 (pp). PenaltiesRupp, NYR (roughing), 5:47; Carkner, Ott (delay of game), 10:02; Prust, NYR, major (fighting), 15:10; Neil, Ott, major (fighting), 15:10; Smith, Ott (roughing), 18:06.

Second Period2, N.Y. Rangers, Stepan 1 (Richards, Stralman), 8:55 (pp). 3, N.Y. Rangers, Richards 2 (Del Zotto, Stepan), 17:08 (pp). 4, N.Y. Rangers, Kreider 1 (Stepan, Staal), 19:19. PenaltiesPrust, NYR (cross-checking), 6:22; Michalek, Ott (holding), 7:57; Silfverberg, Ott (boarding), 9:18; Kreider, NYR (goaltender interference), 14:28; Kuba, Ott (hooking), 15:42; Foligno, Ott (goaltender interference), 15:58.

Third Period5, Ottawa, Spezza 3 (Greening), 19:21. PenaltiesPrust, NYR (tripping), 1:44; Turris, Ott (slashing), 4:11; Gaborik, NYR (hooking), 8:20. Shots on GoalN.Y. Rangers 7-8-7—22. Ottawa 6-7-14—27. Power-play opportunitiesN.Y. Rangers 2 of 7; Ottawa 1 of 5. GoaliesN.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 3-3-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Ottawa, Anderson 3-3-0 (22-19). A20,500 (19,153). T2:35.

Around the league

ST. LOUIS SKIPPED OVER:Finalists for the Selke Trophy for top defensive forward were also announced: Three-time winner Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit, St. Louis' David Backes and Boston's Patrice Bergeron. The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the awards, which will be presented June 20 in Las Vegas.

BLUES:

Playoffs

East

Rangers 3, Senators 3

Game 1: Rangers 4, Senators 2

Game 2: Senators 3, Rangers 2 OT

Game 3: Rangers 1, Senators 0

Game 4: Senators 3, Rangers 2 OT

Game 5: Senators 2, Rangers 0

Monday: Rangers 3, Senators 2

Thursday: at New York, TBD, TBD

Capitals 3, Bruins 3

Game 1: Bruins 1, Capitals 0 OT

Game 2: Capitals 2, Bruins 1 2OT

Game 3: Bruins 4, Capitals 3

Game 4: Capitals 2, Bruins 1

Game 5: Capitals 4, Bruins 3

Game 6: Bruins 4, Capitals 3 OT

Wednesday: at Boston, 7:30, NBCSN

Panthers 3, Devils 2

Game 1: Devils 3, Panthers 2

Game 2: Panthers 4, Devils 2

Game 3: Panthers 4, Devils 3

Game 4: Devils 4, Panthers 0

Game 5: Panthers 3, Devils 0

Today: at New Jersey, 7:30, NBCSN

Thursday: at Florida, TBD, TBD *

Flyers 4, Penguins 2

West

Kings 4, Canucks 1

Coyotes 4, blackhawks 2

Game 1: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 OT

Game 2: Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 OT

Game 3: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 OT

Game 4: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 OT

Game 5: Blackhawks 2, Coyotes 1 OT

Monday: Coyotes 4, Blackhawks 0

Blues 4, Sharks 1

Predators 4, Red Wings 1

* If necessary

Coyotes KO Blackhawks in six 04/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 1:28am]
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