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Chicago Poses Stiff Opening Test for Coyotes
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- In their 33 seasons as an NHL franchise, this might be the most remarkable one of all for the Phoenix Coyotes. They won their first division title despite not having an owner for the third straight year.

Now come the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. Phoenix will have home-ice advantage when the series starts Thursday night, thanks to winning the Pacific Division.

The Coyotes won't have to face Detroit, which beat them in the first round each of the previous two seasons. But this matchup doesn't figure to be easy.

Chicago won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. This season, the Blackhawks finished the regular season with two more wins and four more points than Phoenix.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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