The Phoenix Coyotes’ hopes of winning their first playoff series since 1987 were put on hold Saturday night with their 2-1 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series.
While the game made history for being the fifth straight OT game to open this series (joining the 1951 Stanley Cup finals between Toronto and Montreal as the only series where this has happened), it was also significant in another way in regards to the Coyotes.
Since their last series win as the original Winnipeg Jets (a 1987 divisional semifinals win over Calgary), the Jets/Coyotes franchise has now lost 13 straight playoff games when they’ve had a chance to clinch a series, with four of those losses coming in overtime.
Some other concerning postseason history for Phoenix as they prepare for Game 6 on Monday:
• This series marks the 4th time since 1987 that the Jets/Coyotes have held a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series. The franchise lost the other three such series (1990 to Edmonton, 1992 to Vancouver and 1999 to St. Louis). Only the Washington Capitals have lost a series when leading 3-1 more often in NHL history (the Caps have done it four times).
• If the Blackhawks win Monday and force a Game 7, the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise is 0-5 all-time in Game 7s since joining the NHL in 1979. Including their history in the old World Hockey Association (1972-79), the Jets/Coyotes are 1-6 in Game 7s all-time. The franchise’s lone Game 7 win came on April 24, 1977, a 7-3 win over the San Diego Mariners in a WHA divisional semifinal series.