Glendale, AZ – Marian Hossa exacted his revenge against the Phoenix Coyotes for ending his season early last year.
Hossa, who had to be taken off on a stretcher after a vicious check from Phoenix forward Raffi Torres in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal, posted a pair of goals in Sunday's rematch, as the Chicago Blackhawks bested the Coyotes, 6-4, at Jobing.com Arena.
Torres still has six games left on his 21-game suspension, while Hossa bounced back admirably from the cheap shot, registering two goals and an assist in Chicago's season-opening win over the defending champion Los Angeles Kings.
"No hard feelings," Hossa said of the playing the Coyotes. "I just tried to take it as another game for me, just prepared as I always do."
Dave Bolland added two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks, who went on to lose their postseason matchup against the Coyotes in six games.
Ray Emery made 25 saves in the victory.
Shane Doan, playing in his 1,200th NHL game -- all with Phoenix -- recorded a goal and an assist, while Mike Smith allowed all six goals on 31 shots for the Coyotes, who lost their opener on Saturday, falling 4-3 to the Dallas Stars.
"Unacceptable goaltending both games," Smith said of his performance over Phoenix's first two games. "There's no excuse for it. It's a letdown to the whole team."
With the game locked at 2-2 late in the second, Chicago scored two goals in a 50-second span to take control.
Hossa notched the first tally, as he worked a nice give-and-go with Michal Rozsival to get free in the slot. Hossa than deked past a defender before beating Smith to the blocker side to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 edge.
Then just under a minute later, Viktor Stalberg took a cross-ice feed from Bryan Bickell and wristed a shot high over Smith's glove hand from the right circle to make it 4-2 at the 18:24 mark.
Hossa then added another goal just 14 seconds into the third. Hossa charged down the right wing before flipping a weak backhand on net from a sharp angle. Smith was unable to handle the easy shot, as it slid between his legs and barely snuck across the goal line to provide the Blackhawks with a 5-2 advantage.
The Coyotes wouldn't go quietly, scoring two goals in 50 seconds to trim the margin to one. Martin Hanzal started the flurry with a tip-in goal at the 4:38 mark before Doan followed with a backhand goal from the slot at the 5:28 mark to make it 5-4.
But Chicago countered less than 30 seconds later to account for the final margin, as Patrick Sharp hit Bolland cutting to the net. Bolland tipped the puck high in the air and it snuck over the outstretched glove of Smith to make it 6-4 at the 5:50 mark of the third.
Early on, the teams traded tallies in the first, with David Moss getting Phoenix on the board with a wrister at the 3:39 mark before Bolland buried a one-timer from Patrick Kane with just over nine minutes left to knot the game at 1-1.
Antoine Vermette put Phoenix back in front early in the second with a putback goal at the 5:48 mark, but the Blackhawks answered just before the midpoint of the frame, as Sharp took a nice feed from Bolland and rifled a wrister past Smith to tie the game with 10:10 left in the second.
David Schlemko finished with two assists for the Coyotes ... Chicago finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Phoenix went 0-for-3 on the man advantage ... Rozsival and Kane each finished with two helpers for the Blackhawks.