By Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune reporter
1:52 AM CDT, April 15, 2012
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Patrick Sharp merely chuckled when asked if the Blackhawks practice scoring with six attackers on the ice.
The Hawks seem to have perfected the art of late-game heroics as for the second consecutive contest they tied the score in the waning moments of their Western Conference quarterfinals series against the Coyotes. On Saturday night, Sharp did the honors as the veteran winger found the back of the net with 5.5 seconds remaining to set up Bryan Bickell's overtime winner as the Hawks stunned the Coyotes 4-3 in Game 2 at Jobing.com Arena.
Sharp followed on the heels of Brent Seabrook's tying goal with :14.2 remaining in Game 1 on Thursday night to tie that game before the Coyotes won 3-2 in OT.
This time, with goaltender Corey Crawford out of the net, the Hawks came out on the winning side to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1 and seize home-ice advantage with Game 3 scheduled for Tuesday night at the United Center.
"It was kind of fun there in the last minute," said Sharp, who redirected Seabrook's long shot past Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith to force overtime. "We had six guys moving the puck pretty well. We had a few chances to score. I knew Seabrook was going to pound it one last time with time running out and I was able to get stick on it.
"I don't think I've ever seen that before, back-to-back games forcing overtime but I was thankful we seized the opportunity and won this one."
With new life, the Hawks got the game-winner when Bickell jumped on a loose puck in the slot and fired it past Smith to swing the momentum in the series to the Hawks. Bickell and rookie Brandon Bollig had goals in regulation and Crawford earned the win for the Hawks.
Crawford allowed two power-play goals by the Coyotes' Antoine Vermette and a score to Raffi Torres but came up with big saves when needed to give the Hawks a chance to pull out the win.
"I got in the slot and I was lucky it went in," Bickell said. "The puck was finding me. It was exciting to get the goal to give the team the win ... (and) it's going to be exciting going back to Chicago now."
No one was happier the Hawks pulled it out than Andrew Shaw. The rookie winger was forced to watch the mayhem at the end of the game after being ejected during the second period after colliding with Smith.
Only Smith knows for sure how shaken up he was when he was sprawled along the end boards after getting hit in the facemask by Shaw's shoulder.
The collision helped the Coyotes cash in on the ensuing power play after officials handed Shaw a five-minute charging penalty and tossed him from the game.
After several minutes on the ice, Smith got up and stayed in the game and then watched Vermette score his second goal and give the Coyotes a lead they didn't relinquish until the clock had nearly run out.
"I was just in on the forecheck and he played the puck and when I saw I was coming close I tried getting out of the way and unfortunately I made contact," Shaw said. "Not that I meant to or anything. I'm just glad he's okay and I'm glad he played the rest of the game.
"I'm just happy we came out with the win," Shaw added. "It makes me feel a lot better. It was a big goal by Bickell there.
"Hopefully, we can take it home and pick two wins up at home."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC