Blackhawks beat Coyotes in overtime for rare late-season win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Music blared out of the Blackhawks’ locker room at Gila River Arena late Wednesday night after the Hawks’ 4-3 overtime win against the Coyotes. A few smiles and laughs were shared in the hallway outside.

Those sights and sounds have been exceedingly rare this spring. The Hawks are eager to savor them.

“We let them back in the game there, but it’s nice to get a win, feel good about our game and move on,” Alex DeBrincat said.

DeBrincat’s 40th goal of the season, a backdoor tap-in set up by Patrick Kane with 37 seconds left in overtime, proved the difference in a wide-open game between two of the NHL’s worst teams. The Hawks finished with a 46-26 edge in scoring chances and 40-35 edge in shots on goal.

Dueling goaltenders Kevin Lankinen and Karel Vejmelka robbed Jack McBain and Dominik Kubalik, respectively, shortly beforehand to keep the game going.

The Hawks looked on track to earn their first regulation win since March 24, nearly a month ago, when they led 2-0 at the first intermission and 3-1 at the second. But the Coyotes rallied in the final period as the Hawks let yet another lead slip away.

“When we have the lead, we don’t realize that we don’t need to score a goal every shift,” interim coach Derek King said. “We have a 3-1 lead. Sometimes you need a ‘live to fight another day’ kind of attitude. You don’t have to make that extra play to see if we can get some offense going. That’s where we’re making mistakes, and that’s what has been costing us this season.”

Even without the regulation qualifier, the win is still just the Hawks’ fourth since March 13th and second in their last 12 games.

They split the four-game season series against the Coyotes, who have now lost nine straight and been outscored 47-13 over that span. With the Coyotes moving into Arizona State’s arena next season, the Hawks will finish with an all-time (regular season) record of 17-9-4 at Gila River Arena.

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