Richards' 900th point lifts Blackhawks over Coyotes 2-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Richards scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 7:11 left in the third period to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
Richards scored near the end of the man advantage, putting in a rebound of Kris Versteeg's blocked shot. It was the 900th NHL point for Richards, who entered in ninth place among active players.
"It just means I'm getting old, I think," Richards told reporters. "It's been a good run."
It hasn't been much of a run this season, though, for Richards, who joined the Hawks on a one-year deal in the off-season. The veteran center scored 6 goals in his first 24 games but this was his first since Jan. 11 (24 games ago).
"It's obviously been a tough time," Richards said. "I don't think I've ever gone that long."
The Blackhawks had 7 power plays and converted 2 of them, including Andrew Shaw's first-period goal. Coming into the game, the Hawks were 0 for their last 15 on the power play, the last tally coming against Florida after Patrick Kane broke his clavicle.
Corey Crawford made 17 saves in the win, and Arizona's Mike Smith stopped 43 shots. Crawford has turned away 98 of 101 shots over the last three games for a .970 save percentage.
The Coyotes had a power play for the last 38.5 seconds of the game, and made it a 6-on-4 skating advantage after pulling Smith, but couldn't force overtime. Tobias Rieder had given Arizona a 1-0 lead early in the first period.
The Blackhawks tied it on Shaw's power play goal at 8:10. That ended a run of 11 straight penalty kills over three games for Arizona.
The Hawks had gone five games without a power-play goal until Shaw scored. The Blackhawks got another power play at 11:12 of the first when Smith punched Versteeg, after Versteeg was knocked into Smith in the crease by Arizona's Mark Arcobello.
Smith was given a penalty for roughing.
• Former Coyotes center Antoine Vermette, who was with the team from 2011 until last month before being traded to Chicago, received a warm reception. The Coyotes showed Vermette on the scoreboard, and he waved to the crowd in acknowledgment.