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Sunday, March 20, 2011
Good time for Campoli's first goal as Hawk

By Jesse Rogers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One Chicago Blackhawks' hero went down, but maybe another was born.

It might not end up to be as dramatic as that, but the Hawks gutted out a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday at Arena thanks to Chris Campoli's first goal as a Hawk after losing Patrick Sharp to a left leg injury in the first period. Sharp will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Campoli scored the second power-play goal of the game by a Hawks’ defenseman to earn his new team a much needed two points.

Chris Campoli
Chris Campoli's first goal as a Blackhawk came at the right time Sunday.
“Good to get the monkey off my back,” Campoli said. “[It was] an important goal at an important time of the game. Happy to get it out of the way. Great pass, wide open net.”

The pass came from Jonathan Toews, through the crease, where Campoli ended up after pinching from the point. Campoli could very well have been taking Sharp’s place on that power play.

“It’s a play we run back door,” he said. “Tazer saw me and made a great pass through their defense and we executed the way we practiced it. It worked out well.”

From Toews’ perspective, his linemates on the power play were getting all the attention.

“I think they were anticipating that pass down low and to the net. [I] think the reason it was so wide open was with [Marian] Hossa and [Patrick] Kane we have three guys doing a cycle. I just happened to be the low guy. It was kind of a slow-motion play where all [Campoli] had to do was get good wood on it. And he made no mistakes. Obviously it was a huge goal for us.”

The goal came after a questionable holding penalty on Shane Doan. Late in the game, an argument could be made the call shouldn’t happen. That’s what the Coyotes felt.

“I’ve watched it 20 times,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it at all. To me there is no hold whatsoever. It’s very disappointing that a call like that can affect the game.”

Tied going into the third period isn’t a situation that’s suited the Hawks well this season. Thankfully, the Coyotes have performed just as poor in those sorts of games, now 3-4-6 when tied after two periods. The Hawks improved to 8-10-2. The key is they won the game without giving their fellow playoff contender a point.

“We need to find a way to win those tight games,” Toews said. “We’ve been in a lot of them and sometimes they don’t go our way, especially if they go to overtime. We can be happy about not giving them too many offensive chances. Every guy stepped up.”

And they might need to step up some more with another body going down. That makes three key Hawks—Sharp, Brian Campbell, and Dave Bolland -- out of the lineup.

This might not be the last game the Hawks have to gut out.