Phoenix Coyotes Vs. Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Playoffs 2012: Complete Series Coverage

The Phoenix Coyotes won their division for the first time ever, and against the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 1 of the 2012 NHL playoffs, they'll try to win a series for the first time as well.

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25 Total Updates since April 9, 2012
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Coyotes Vs. Blackhawks, Game 6: Smith, Game Plan Keys To Phoenix's First Series Win

Riding the hot hand of goaltender Mike Smith, the Coyotes stuck to a familiar formula for success in winning their first playoff series since moving to the desert in 1996.

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Coyotes Vs. Blackhawks, NHL Playoffs 2012 Game 1: Martin Hanzal Wins It In Overtime

The Phoenix Coyotes did not have a good third period. It resulted in a game-tying goal late by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook in the final minute, but the home team quickly responded once overtime began.

The Coyotes controlled the extra frame, possessing the puck in the Blackhawks zone for a large portion of OT, and 9:29 in, Martin Hanzal made it all pay off.

It was a strong keep at the blue line off the faceoff by Adrian Aucoin. Hanzal won the faceoff and made a dash for the net, and when Aucoin sent the puck towards Corey Crawford's crease, it was a simple deflection by Hanzal that gave Phoenix the 1-0 series lead.

Stick with SBNation.com for full series coverage. For more on the Coyotes, check in with Five For Howling and SB Nation Arizona. For more on the Blackhawks, check in with Second City Hockey and SB Nation Chicago.

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Jonathan Toews Set To Return From Concussion For Blackhawks Vs. Coyotes Game 1

Jonathan Toews will be in the lineup for the first time in two months on Thursday night when the Chicago Blackhawks hit the desert ice to take on the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Toews announced the news to the media at Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix.

Chicago's captain has been out since Feb. 19 with a head injury, a total of 22 games missed. He'll be on a scary-good line with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa in Game 1, and while he might not be 100 percent in shape when it comes to conditioning and game awareness after missing so much time, there's no doubt that line will be expected to generate plenty of offense on Thursday night against the defensively strong Coyotes.

Stick with SBNation.com for full coverage of Blackhawks vs. Coyotes. For more from the Chicago perspective, check in with Blackhawks blog Second City Hockey, and for more from the Phoenix perspective, check in with Coyotes blog Five For Howling.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012, Coyotes Vs. Blackhawks Preview: Mike Smith, Jonathan Toews Should Dictate Series Outcome

Chicago's impressive offensive attack goes against the stifling defense of the Coyotes. The 'Hawks attempt to advance past the first round for the first time since their Cup victory in 2010, while Phoenix tries to get to the second round for the first time since 1996.

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NHL Playoffs 2012: Phoenix Coyotes Shoot For First-Ever Series Win (And More)

The Phoenix Coyotes have never won a playoff series. Behind goalie Mike Smith, is this finally their year?

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NHL Playoffs 2012: Chicago Blackhawks Enter Postseason With Jonathan Toews' Status Looming

Jonathan Toews is not in the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks, and that's a big question mark for the club as they prepare for the 2012 NHL playoffs.

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