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Rapid Reaction: Coyotes 3, Hawks 0

2/11/2012

Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks' loss to the Coyotes on Saturday.

How it happened: The Hawks fell behind 2-0 early in the game and never mounted a serious attack to get back into it. Once again a Chicago netminder -- this time Ray Emery -- lost his net as Radim Vrbata went around him and banked a puck off defenseman Sami Lepsito for the opening score. A few minutes later, Boyd Gordon was found open in front of the net for a goal after the Hawks couldn’t retrieve the puck in their own zone. Phoenix added a score in the second period when Dylan Olsen couldn’t keep a puck in the Coyotes’ zone and then was beaten badly in the other direction allowing Kyle Chipchura to tally on a 2-on-1. The Hawks offense was stagnant against Phoenix managing a few chances in the second period but nearly nothing on three power-play attempts.

What it means: The losing streak has reached eight and shows no signs of ending. The Hawks gave up their usual three goals and added to their struggles by getting shutout for the sixth time this season. Getting down 2-0 before the first television timeout doomed them as Phoenix gave up very little once it earned a lead. Mike Smith was good when he had to be while the Hawks' power play has helped doom them during the road trip. It’s 0-for-16 over the first six games, all losses. Major changes might be coming for the Hawks as they prepare for the final leg of their nine-game road trip. The season potentially hangs in the balance, if not in the standings, then in the game of confidence. The Hawks look like they have none.

What’s next: The Hawks head back home to Chicago for a practice session or two before taking on the final three teams of their trip. Next up is a date with Nashville on Tuesday. The Predators handed the Hawks the first two losses on their current skid.