Antoine Vermette

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Phoenix Coyotes take series opening vs Chicago Blackhawks

Going into the Thursday opener between Chicago and Phoenix, most analysts were split on their predictions. Several pointed out that the Coyotes had owned the season series between the two, 3-1; but just as many acknowledged that those games were not some of the Blackhawks' best hockey of the year. Mike Smith has been the difference-maker for Phoenix, while the Chicago goalies have had their share of struggles.

At the end of the day, however, these two teams have always battled strongly against one another, their different styles making for some interesting games.

After four high-paced opening minutes, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews put the first goal of the night...