Daniel Briere snapped a tie with an unlikely wraparound goal
against Chicago goalie Jocelyn Thibault with 2:08 left to lift
Phoenix to a 2-1 victory Thursday night, the Coyotes' fourth consecutive triumph.
Briere backhanded the puck between Thibault's left skate and the
right post -- in one motion -- after the puck slid off the stick of
Chicago's Nathan Dempsey behind the net.
''It happened so quick,'' Briere said. ''I was just going around
the net. The next thing I know I kind of gave (Dempsey) a whack on
the stick. I don't know if that's what made him lose the puck, but
somehow it was just lying at Thibault's feet.
''I just banged it in. There was maybe three or four inches
between his foot and the post and I just tried to sneak it in
Briere's late goal doomed Chicago to its fifth defeat in six
games. The Blackhawks have won just three of their past 16
''I just couldn't find the handle on it,'' Dempsey said. ''It
bounced to the wrong spot and he wrapped it in. I just feel sick to
my stomach now. We lost the game.''
Paul Mara also scored for Phoenix, which got 25 saves from Brian
Eric Daze scored for the Blackhawks. Thibault made 24 saves.
Mara opened the scoring with 10.4 seconds left in the first
period. He beat Thibault with a backhander high on the stick side
after taking a pass from Tony Amonte and making a quick
stick-handling move in the slot.
Daze tied it with 8:22 left in the second. Open at the left edge
of the crease, he redirected Steve Sullivan's cross-ice feed past
As the third period wound down, Briere netted the game-winner
from a seemingly harmless situation.
''I don't know what happened,'' Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.
''The puck exploded on Dempsey and Danny was Johnny-on-the-spot. As
we all know, he's very dangerous behind the net.''
Chicago defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev left the game early in the
second period after being hit in the face by Phoenix defenseman Danny
Markov's deflected shot from the point. ... Chicago defenseman Burke Henry
made his NHL debut. The Blackhawks recalled him from Norfolk of the
AHL on Sunday. ... Phoenix rookie left wing Ramzi Abid missed the game
because of a sprained knee.