GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Given the chance to do what he expected to be doing all year, Mikael Tellqvist shone.
“I’m glad to contribute to this team and try and win games,” Tellqvist said. “There’s always a little rust and it’s so different practicing than playing in games. Obviously you want to play games, but you have to stay professional.”
It was just the 11th game of the season for Tellqvist, relegated to the bench after the Coyotes acquired Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers from Anaheim Nov. 17.
“Tellqvist was outstanding when he had to be,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “It was great to see him do what he did because he is well-liked on the team and works hard every day.”
Tellqvist held Chicago scoreless until Cameron Barker ruined the shutout at 11:31 of the third period. Kris Versteeg brought the Hawks to within one at 18:33 before Sjostrom scored into an empty net.
The Blackhawks were 0-for-3 on the power play, while Phoenix was 1-for-8.
“Obviously, we didn’t get many calls,” Chicago coach Denis Savard said. “I was proud in the way we came back. … After all, we were only one shot away from a point.”
Hanging on to a 2-0 lead into third period, Vrbata scored with a 5-on-3 advantage at 7:45.
“We had our chances but their goalie came up big,” Chicago’s Brent Seabrook said. “We’re kind of struggling right now, and need to shore up our game. There’s a great deal of character in this room and now is the time for everyone to step forward.”
Weller returned to the lineup Thursday night after missing the last seven games with a concussion.
Phoenix captain Shane Doan was scratched and listed as day-to-day with a minor hand injury. … Ilya Bryzgalov started the last seven games and 18 of the previous 19. … With a goal and an assist, Hanzal picked up just his third multipoint game of the year. … The loss dropped Chicago below .500 on the road. The Hawks are now 7-8-2 away from the United Center. … Barker’s goal was his first of the season since being recalled from Rockford of the AHL on Dec. 20. … Tellqvist started for the first time since Dec. 15 at New Jersey.