Squeak out a slim lead, attempt to hold on to it, and then watch it disappear in the third period.
For the www.24-7airmax2011.com fourth time in their first-round series, the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to secure a late tie.
And for the second time, the Blackhawks finished the comeback in overtime, rebounding for a 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night in front of 17,746 at Jobing.com Arena to cut the Coyotes' lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2.
The series will move back to Chicago for Game 6 on Monday night.
"It's obviously disappointing," captain Shane Doan said. "You never want to give up a lead and find ways to win at home for your fans. But give them credit. They played a good game, and we didn't play as well as we needed to."
The Coyotes' inability to hold a lead, or perhaps more important, finish off a win, has managed to push itself as a leading story line in a series that has no shortage of drama.
Injuries to each team's key players, an eye-opening 25-game suspension to winger Raffi Torres for his illegal hit on Marian Hossa, five consecutive overtimes for the first time since 1951 and yet the nagging factor in all the action is the Coyotes could have ended this series in four or five games with a killer instinct in the third period.
"They were playing desperate," defenseman Keith Yandle said. "Their lives were on the line, and it's something we just got to find a better way to close teams out and do a better job of it."
To help jump-start an offense that has been hurting for chemistry since center Martin Hanzal went down in Game 2, Coyotes coach Dave Tippett reshuffled his top three lines lines for Game 5.
Notably, Tippett split up the tandem of Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney, who haven't carried the team in this series like they had during the regular season.
Though Hanzal still was unavailable to play, winger Lauri Korpikoski, who was also hurt in Game 2, returned to the lineup. He was slotted alongside Mikkel Boedker and Boyd Gordon.
The new combinations didn't produce any offense in the first period with the Coyotes getting outshot 12-4 by the Blackhawks, and they looked particularly flustered on an early power play.
Odd-man rushes were rare in the first period with both sets of defense playing tentative, but that changed in the second.
Just 2:46 into the period, the Coyotes broke out for a 3-on-1 attack and with winger Gilbert Brule on a partial breakaway, his shot beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford glove side to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
It was Brule's first career playoff goal and a timely effort by the fourth line for the Coyotes.
Their contributions enabled Tippett to consistently roll all four lines, and that depth was a beneficial factor in combating fatigue produced from the previous four overtime games.
But rather that building on that lead and securing what would have been their first second-round appearance since the team relocated to the Valley from Winnipeg, the Coyotes let the Blackhawks hang around.
At 9:14 of the third period, a point shot by defenseman Nick Leddy snuck in between the traffic in front of goalie Mike Smith to tie the score at 1.
That spelled overtime yet again, and this time captain Jonathan Toews had the magic touch, slicing a shot over Smith's shoulder from the shot 2:44 into the extra frame.
Though the Coyotes still lead the series, the Blackhawks are familiar with the comeback role. Last year they rebounded from a 3-0 deficit against the Vancouver Canucks to push a seventh game.
"You www.24-7airmax2011.comwant to close it out as soon as possible," Yandle said. "You want to go in there, in their building and we got to play it like it's a Game7. They've been there. They won a Stanley Cup recently, and we have to play hard and see what we can do there."