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Coyotes, League's Best Record


Even on an off night, the Phoenix Coyotes are finding ways to keep winning.

Keith Tkachuk scored twice and assisted on Jeremy Roenick's decisive goal, and the Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.

"Who cares whether it was pretty or not?"Tkachuk said. "We got the job done. We kind of played a little terrible there in the second period, but we came out gunning in the third."

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  • Phoenix is 10-0-2 in its last 12 games -- the second-longest unbeaten streak in franchise history. The Coyotes could tie the franchise mark -- set as the Winnipeg Jets during the 1984-85 season - Thursday night against New Jersey.

    The game also was 15th in a row in which the Coyotes have held opponents to two goals or less - the longest streak since the 1958-59 Montreal Canadiens set the NHL record of 18 straight.

    Tony Amonte and Ethan Moreau scored for Chicago, but weren't able to give the Blackhawks their 2,000th win. Chicago is 1,999-2,098-750 since joining the NHL in 1926.

    Roenick, who has 13 points in 12 games against his former team, has been there before -- with Chicago and Phoenix.

    "Last year I think we would have lost this game, because we would have sat back," he said.

    Doug Gilmour won three faceoffs in the final 34 seconds as the Blackhawks battled to prevent their third straight loss, but Phoenix goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped a point-blank shot by Amonte in the final seconds.

    "The commitment and work were there, anwe didn't get rewarded," Chicago coach Dirk Graham said.

    Khabibulin had 30 saves. He allowed Amonte's league-high 14th goal as Chicago outshot Phoenix.

    Moreau's goal cut the deficit to 3-2 midway through the final period.

    Tkachuk, who got his 11th goal on a deflection in the first period, broke the 1-1 tie with a power-play goal 1:58 into the third and 12 seconds into an obstruction-holding penalty on Chicago defenseman Doug Zmolek.

    It was only the eighth power-play goal in 75 chances for the Coyotes, who have the league's best penalty-killing unit and one of its worst man-advantage groups.

    Phoenix made it 3-1 only 1:10 later, when Tkachuk spun in the slot and flipped the puck to Roenick, who skated from behind the goal line and fooled goalie Jocelyn Thibault from outside the crease.

    "They had a hot third period," Amonte said. "They came out storming, and those two goals carried them the rest of the way. It was just too much of a deficit to come back from against a good defensive club and a great goaltender."

    The Coyotes outshot the Blackhawks 11-7 in the first period, scoring on the 10th with 1:03 remaining.

    Dallas Drake, deep in the corner, whipped a pass to Roenick, who let fly from above the circle. Tkachuk redirected it for his 11th goal.

    Late in the second period, Khabibulin stopped the first head-on shot after Alexei Zhamnov fed Amonte low in the slot, but his momentum carried him out of position to handle the rebound Amonte poked in with just 20 seconds left.

    Thibault stopped 20 of 23 shots.

    "I think we thought this was going to be an easier game than it turned out to be," coach Jim Schoenfeld said. "You can't play this game without a real sharp emotional edge and expect to do well at it."

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