GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -After reaching the Western Conference finals last spring, the Anaheim Ducks began this season with lofty expectations.
They've done nothing to dispel them so far.
Behind Ilya Bryzgalov's 34 saves, the Ducks improved to 2-0 with a 2-1 victory over Phoenix Saturday night. Teemu Selanne and Dustin Penner each scored for Anaheim, which beat Los Angeles 4-3 one night earlier.
"In our minds, we didn't play a very complete game (Friday) night, but we were a better team tonight," coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's only the second game of the year. I think every team is still a work in progress. We're no different. Our work ethic has been strong and that's what we're going to continue to build on."
Zbynek Michalek scored the only goal for the Coyotes.
The Ducks have enjoyed some superb goaltending in the season's first week. Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 41 saves, including 22 in the first period, in Anaheim's opening 4-3 victory over Los Angeles on Friday night.
Giguere could have played against the Coyotes, but Carlyle decided to give him the night off and start Bryzgalov.
That was a smart move, given Bryzgalov's record against Phoenix. He's 6-0 against the Coyotes.
"I don't think about who we play against," Bryzgalov said. "I just try to do the best that I can, and stop the puck, and help to win the game."
The Ducks dropped the "Mighty" from their name and changed their colors in the offseason, switching from purple and teal to black and orange. But they look the same to the Coyotes.
The Ducks went 7-0-1 against Phoenix last season. And they wasted little time re-establishing their dominance.
"This team is one of the best teams in hockey," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "They're physical, they're fast, they're unselfish. They're getting good goaltending."
After Phoenix center Jeremy Roenick drew a roughing penalty, the Ducks took a 1-0 lead on Selanne's power-play goal at 2:15 of the first period.
Anaheim went up 2-0 with 2:15 left in the period. With the Ducks on a power play, Ryan Getzlaf fired a low shot at Curtis Joseph. Joseph kicked a rebound to Penner, who fired it past him.
The Coyotes sliced the lead to 2-1 on Michalek's power-play goal with 8 minutes left in the second period. The goal came on a two-man advantage, with Michalek taking a pass from Keith Ballard and beating Bryzgalov on a wrist shot from between the circles.
But it wasn't enough to overcome the Ducks' early advantage.
"If you spot that team two goals, you are going to be in trouble," Phoenix winger Shane Doan said.
It was a testy, physical game between Pacific Division rivals, who combined for 46 penalty minutes.
In the first period, Phoenix's new tough guy, Georges Laraque, took exception to a hard check by Todd Fedoruk, and the two fought along the boards. In the second, the Coyotes' Dave Scatchard brawled with Shane O'Brien.
Notes: The Coyotes had a scare when Ladislav Nagy, who missed 29 games with a knee injury last year, crumpled to the ice and grabbed his left knee after a center-ice collision with Samuel Pahlsson. Nagy returned to the ice minutes later. ... A survey by Team Marketing Reports found that the Coyotes' average ticket price, $25, is the NHL's lowest. ... The Ducks have upgraded a team that finished with the most wins (43) and points (98) in team history. They acquired defenseman Chris Pronger, the former league MVP and Norris Trophy winner, in a trade with Edmonton. He joins another Norris winner, Scott Niedermayer, on the back line.
|PPG - Teemu Selanne (1) ASST: Shane O'Brien (1), Andy McDonald (1)|
1 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Dustin Penner (1) ASST: Corey Perry (1), Ryan Getzlaf (1)|
2 - 0 ANA
|PPG - Zbynek Michalek (1) ASST: Keith Ballard (2), Mike Comrie (2)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Jeremy Roenick Roughing|
|Ed Jovanovski Holding against Dustin Penner|
|Todd Fedoruk Fighting (maj) against Georges Laraque|
|Georges Laraque Fighting (maj) against Todd Fedoruk|
|Samuel Pahlsson Holding against Dennis Seidenberg|
|Dave Scatchard Hooking|
|Corey Perry Slashing against Zbynek Michalek|
|Sean O'Donnell Tripping against Ladislav Nagy|
|Corey Perry Hooking|
|Chris Pronger Interference against Ladislav Nagy|
|Shane O'Brien Roughing against Keith Ballard|
|Shane O'Brien Fighting (maj) against Dave Scatchard|
|Dave Scatchard Fighting (maj) against Shane O'Brien|
|Mike Comrie Interference against Todd Marchant|
|Shane O'Brien Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Dave Scatchard Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Nick Boynton Slashing against Chris Kunitz|