Coyotes-Mighty Ducks Game Recap
By: Chad Lynch
Photos courtesy of Debora Robinson/Mighty Ducks
On Wednesday, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped a 6-1 game at the hands of Pacific Division rivals, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The Coyotes went on the power play just 29 seconds into the opening period as Anaheim forward Chris Kunitz was sent to the penalty box after he failed to control his stick and struck Phoenix forward Mike Comrie in the face. But the Coyotes power play unit looked rusty in the opening minutes of the game, as they were unable to keep the pressure on the Ducks and could generate only a single shot on goal.
At 3:09 of the first, the Ducks took there second penalty of the contest as Jonathan Hedstrom was called for holding, giving Phoenix another chance on the man-advantage. The Coyotes looked decidedly better on their second power play as they were able to set up in the Anaheim zone and get some pressure to the front of the net. Defenseman Zbynek Michalek nearly gave the Coyotes the lead as his slap shot from the point beat Anaheim's Illya Bryzgalov, but then hit the right goal post and out of the crease. After the shot off the post, the Ducks were able to kill off the remainder of the penalty to Hedstrom and return to full strength.
Phoenix received their third power play of the opening frame with 13:54 left in the period as Vitaly Vishnevski was assessed a cross checking penalty. This time it was the Ducks penalty killing unit that would dominate the tempo of play as they kept the Coyotes attack off balance and unable to generate enough offense to find the back of the net.
While the Coyotes were struggling to find their offensive rhythm early, their defense was clearly doing their best as the Ducks could only generate a single shot on goal in the first 10 minutes of play.
The Coyotes penalty-killing unit took their first tour of duty with 10:53 to play in the first when rookie blueliner Matt Jones was called for holding. Phoenix killed off the first 1:45 of the penalty then drew a penalty of their own as Anaheim's Hedstrom was sent back to the box, this time for roughing with 9:07 to play in the frame. The Coyotes looked to have a good set up going, deep in the Anaheim zone until a pass by Shane Doan to Dave Scatchard, broke Scatchard's stick and allowed the Ducks to gain control of the puck and clear the zone as the penalty as they returned to full strength.
As the period continued, the Coyotes and Ducks both seemed deadlocked in a neutral zone battle as neither team was able to create much of an offensive attack and the shot totals remained surprisingly low for a battle between Pacific Division rivals.
However, the score wouldn't remain tied for the entire first period as Anaheim's Joffrey Lupul banked a shot off the back of Coyotes goaltender David LeNeveu and into the net with just 40 seconds left in the period, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period, the Coyotes tried to even the score as they were given another power play 3:06 into the period when the Ducks' Rob Neidermeyer was called for interference. With the extra attacker, the Coyotes were able to get a pair of shots on the Ducks net, but Bryzgalov kept Phoenix off the scoreboard.
At 5:44, Anaheim's Teemu Selanne crashed the Coyotes net and tipped a centering feed past the outstretched glove of LeNeveu for a 2-0 Anaheim lead.
Just eight seconds later at 5:52 of the second, the Ducks struck again, this time it was Chris Kunitz who was set free on a breakaway off the face-off and flipped a backhand into the top shelf of the Phoenix net, giving the Ducks a 3-0 lead. Anaheim also set a franchise record on Kunitz's goal as the eight seconds between his goal and Selanne's was the shortest amount of time between two goals in Ducks franchise history.
As the second period continued, the Ducks refused to let up on the Coyotes as they continually out-shot Phoenix and controlled the tempo of play be beating the Coyote to loose pucks and applying pressure in the offensive zone.
The Coyotes made their first trip to the penalty in the second at 15:12 of the period when Ladislav Nagy was given two-minutes for hooking. After arguing the call, Nagy was given an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Ducks an extended power play. The penalty would prove costly for the Coyotes as Anaheim rookie Dustin Penner raced into the Phoenix zone a sent a wrist shot that beat LeNeveu on the stick side, making it a 4-0 Anaheim lead. Penner's goal was his first of his NHL career.
With 41 seconds left on Nagy's penalty, Coyotes captain Shane Doan was sent to join him as he was called for delay of game after the puck left the confines of the rink and headed into the stands.
The Coyotes would hold off the Ducks for the remainder of the period but an offensive explosion by Anaheim in the second game them a 4-0 lead as the two clubs skated into the locker-room after two periods of play.
In the third period, the Coyotes finally made their mark on the scoreboard as Mike Leclerc's shot from the right side, squeaked past Bryzgalov and over the goal line to cut the Anaheim lead to 4-1.
With just over three minutes gone in the third, Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk, who returned to the line up Wednesday following a three game suspension incurred in the last meeting between the Coyotes and Ducks, was given a pair of minor penalties for hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct. But just 90 seconds into the four minute power play, the Coyotes Dave Scatchard took a penalty himself as he was called for hooking. The two clubs would spend the next two minutes playing four-on-four before the Ducks would kill off the final 30 seconds of Fedoruk's penalty and return to full strength.
The Coyotes would continue to take costly penalties in the third period as defenseman Sean O'Donnell was called for holding, putting the Ducks back on the man-advantage. Anaheim wouldn't let the opportunity pass them by as Dustin Penner scored his second goal of the game and his career at 10:46 of the third as he scooped up a loose puck in the slot and fired a shot over the glove of LeNeveu to give the Ducks a 5-1 lead.
With 4:38 left in the third, Geoff Sanderson took his first penalty of the contest as he was called for holding, giving the Duck another shot on the man-advantage. The Ducks would once again cash in on the power play as Zenon Konopka's shot with 2:46 left in the game gave the Ducks a 6-1 lead.
That would conclude the scoring on Wednesday, as the Coyotes were unable to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Coyotes will return to action on Saturday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at Glendale Arena. The Game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on WB6. The game can also be heard on KDUS - 1060 AM, KDKB - 93.3 FM or on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the Listen Live link in the Game Day section.