ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Anaheim Mighty Ducks started well, struggled in the middle and then padded their lead at the end to pull out a win.
``I thought the first period was excellent and we were terrible in the second. In the third period, we found a way to get the job done and that was the difference,'' Anaheim's Teemu Selanne said after the Mighty Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-3 Sunday.
``It was good enough to win the game. That's all that matters,'' he added.
Petr Sykora, Selanne and Andy McDonald scored first-period goals, Phoenix narrowed the gap to 3-2 on a pair of Mike Leclerc goals in the second, then the Ducks held on.
Geoff Sanderson's power-play goal for Phoenix with 5:39 remaining narrowed the gap to 4-3, but the Ducks and goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov, starting for the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere, made the lead stand up.
Anaheim got the eventual deciding goal on rookie Jonathan Hedstrom's first NHL tally with 15:19 left.
Rob Niedermayer added a power-play goal with 34 seconds remaining on an assist from his brother, Scott. Phoenix goaltender David LeNeveu was heading for the bench when the Ducks regained control of the puck.
``We came out pretty hard then had a bit of a letdown in the second period,'' Rob Niedermayer said. ``But we battled hard in the third.''
Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky pulled goalie Curtis Joseph after the first period, going to LeNeveu.
Gretzky was speechless after the game - he was hoarse from yelling and didn't talk to reporters.
Hedstrom gave the Ducks a 4-2 lead while Anaheim was short-handed. The Ducks won a faceoff deep in the Phoenix end, and LeNeveu stopped consecutive shots by Keith Carney and Samuel Pahlsson. The puck dribbled into the crease and Hedstrom poked it in.
Leclerc had pulled the Coyotes within 3-2 against his former team by scoring his third goal of the season - and second of the game - with four seconds remaining in the second period.
He scored Phoenix's first goal six minutes earlier, 11 seconds into a power play.
``It was kind of weird, coming back to the place you called home for eight years, spending your whole career, and seeing the guys you played with,'' said Leclerc, dealt to Phoenix in August. ``Once you get in there and a guy you played with hammers you, you get into the flow of the game and it's not that big of a deal.''
McDonald gave Anaheim a three-goal pad by notching a power-play tally with one second remaining in the period. He zipped down the slot, took a centering pass from Joffrey Lupul and banged the puck past Joseph.
Sykora got things started for the Ducks 9:56 in when he wristed a shot toward the left post as Joseph sprawled the other way.
After Sykora scored his second goal of the season, Selanne made it 2-0 at 17:29 when he knocked in a rebound of a shot by Ryan Getzlaf for his fifth goal.
Notes: Joseph is still one win short of becoming the ninth NHL goalie with 400 wins. ... The Ducks returned home after dropping three straight on the road. It was Anaheim's second win in seven games. ... Anaheim LW Todd Fedoruk was in Philadelphia to attend the funeral of his father-in-law. He's expected to be back for Tuesday night's game against Los Angeles. ... Ducks C Sergei Fedorov sat out his fifth consecutive game with a groin injury. ... Getzlaf had two assists.
|Petr Sykora (2) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (2), Teemu Selanne (2)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Teemu Selanne (5) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (3), Petr Sykora (3)|
2 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Andy McDonald (1) ASST: Joffrey Lupul (3), Rob Niedermayer (6)|
3 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Mike Leclerc (2) ASST: Geoff Sanderson (2), Oleg Saprykin (3)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Mike Leclerc (3) ASST: Tyson Nash (1), Zbynek Michalek (3)|
3 - 2 ANA
|SHG - Jonathan Hedstrom (1) ASST: Samuel Pahlsson (2), Keith Carney (4)|
4 - 2 ANA
|PPG - Geoff Sanderson (2) ASST: Paul Mara (5), Shane Doan (5)|
4 - 3 ANA
|PPG - Rob Niedermayer (2) ASST: Scott Niedermayer (2)|
5 - 3 ANA
|Corey Perry Roughing|
|Teemu Selanne Holding|
|Keith Ballard Interference|
|Tyson Nash Interference|
|Fredrik Sjostrom Holding|
|Sean O'Donnell Cross checking|
|Ruslan Salei Interference|
|Mike Johnson Interference on goalkeeper|
|Jason Marshall Hooking|
|Ryan Getzlaf Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Scott Niedermayer Cross checking|
|Petr Nedved Hooking|
|Jonathan Hedstrom Hooking|
|Keith Ballard Hooking|