Coyotes beat Blackhawks to advance

Coyotes beat Blackhawks to advance

CHICAGO - Agence France-Presse
Coyotes beat Blackhawks to advance

The Coyotes’ goalie Mike Smith celebrates defeating the Blackhawks following Game 6 of their quarterfinal series. REUTERS Photo

Gilbert Brule and Kyle Chipchura each had a goal and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes clinched their first playoff series since relocating from Winnipeg with a 4-0 victory over Chicago on April 23.

Linemates Brule and Chipchura combined to score third period goals and goaltender Mike Smith recorded a shutout for the Coyotes, who captured the opening round National Hockey League playoff series four games to two.

The Coyotes had not won a playoff series since relocating from Winnipeg, Canada to the Arizona desert prior to the 1996-97 NHL season.

“This is the first step,” said Phoenix captain Shane Doan. “We want to enjoy this moment because it hasn’t happened to us for a long time.” The last time the franchise made it into the second round of the postseason was 25 years ago when the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary Flames.

Phoenix advances to face the Nashville Predators.

The Blackhawks and Phoenix went to overtime in each of the first five games of the best-of-seven series, tying an NHL playoff series record set during the 1951 Stanley Cup finals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.