Series (Game 3 of 4)

Chicago leads 2-1

Game 1: Thursday, November 28th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 8th
Game 3: Thursday, February 20th
Game 4: Friday, March 14th

Coyotes 2

(23-25-4, 57 pts)

Blackhawks 1

(24-24-3, 61 pts)

8:30 PM ET, February 20, 2003

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
ARI 1 0 12
CHI 0 1 01

D. Briere (Coyotes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Boucher (Coyotes - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

A. Zhamnov (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Briere wins it with unlikely wraparound goal

CHICAGO (AP) -- A late bounce went the Phoenix Coyotes' way and helped them to a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

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 there.''

Briere's late goal doomed Chicago to its fifth defeat in six games. The Blackhawks have won just three of their past 16 (3-11-2).

''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 Boucher.

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 Boucher.

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.''

Game notes

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press