After the Phoenix Coyotes nearly let a second point in the standings slip away, Jim Vandermeer made sure they left the Honda Center on Sunday night with a victory.
The stay-at-home defenseman scored his second goal of the night 78 seconds into overtime and Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves as the Coyotes edged the Anaheim Ducks in a 3-2 victory. The game required an extra session after Bobby Ryan tied the score with just 1:54 left in regulation.
Vandermeer entered the night with 20 career goals in 337 NHL contests.
"It was one of those games where we kind of just hung in there," Vandermeer said. "They kind of outplayed us a little bit, but we kept to our game plan and kept throwing pucks at the net."
Ryan Getzlaf also scored for Anaheim, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves just two nights after blanking the Chicago Blackhawks. Corey Perry extended his points streak to 18 games when he assisted on Ryan's game-tying tally. The loss snapped Anaheim's season-high three-game winning streak.
"It's important to focus on the positives," Giguere said. "We found a way to get a point at the end in the last two minutes, so we should be happy about that. The game didn't go exactly the way we wanted. We know what we did wrong and what we did well."
The overtime winner needed a brief video review to make sure that Vandermeer's 35-foot shot wasn't redirected by a high stick, but the officials quickly determined that it was a legal tally.
Getzlaf gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead when he scored on the power play at 5:12 of the second period. After Sami Lepisto was whistled for hooking, Getzlaf took a pass from Teemu Selanne and fired a wrist shot from the slot past Bryzgalov for his fifth goal of the season and fourth in his last eight games.
Vandermeer tied the game when he beat Giguere 5:28 into the third period. With the teams at even strength, Vandermeer caught the Ducks' goaltender out of position after Giguere made an initial save on Robert Lang. Vandermeer collected the rebound and ripped it into an open net to make it 1-1.
"We wanted to stay disciplined. That is a pretty good power play over there so we want to make sure we are out of the box," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "I'm glad we didn't take any penalties down the stretch -- it could have been a little troublesome. I thought we executed better in the third period and we were able to find a couple of chances. We needed to get back into the game."
Phoenix took its first lead of the night when Matthew Lombardi scored with 9:53 left in the third. Lombardi, who was acquired last season in the deal that sent Olli Jokinen to Calgary, made a dazzling move right in front of the crease before sliding it past Giguere for his fifth goal of the season.
"You know their team is going to have a push," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "Similar to the last couple of games, to start of the third period, we were not skating. We were standing around, standing still and trying to make plays. The opposition is putting a push on. Our reaction to it is we haven’t had enough strong plays to move around that pressure."
Anaheim forced overtime when former Phoenix defenseman Nick Boynton fired a wrist shot from the right point that Ryan was able to redirect past a screened Bryzgalov to make it 2-2. It was Ryan's 11th goal of the season.
"We weren't down or anything like that," Vandermeer said. "Anything can happen in overtime, so we just were going to go out there and play hard and see what happened and we got a good break."
The Ducks entered the game with an 8-0-1 record when leading after two periods.
"We got ahead and stopped skating in the third," Ryan said. "They dominated the third period. Jiggy made a lot of saves early that you think would depress them at some point and get under their skin, but it didn't. They just kept hanging around."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
Wrist shot -
1 - 0 ANA
Wrist shot -
1 - 1 Tie
Wrist shot -
2 - 1 PHX
Deflected shot -
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 PHX