Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant
Phoenix - Mikael Tellqvist
Anaheim - Jean-Sebastien Giguere
On Wednesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes fell to their Pacific Division rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, by the score of 2-1.
The Coyotes wouldn't waste any time in making their presence felt in Wednesday night's contest as captain Shane Doan gave Phoenix the first lead of the game just 31-seconds into the period. On the play, Doan took a feed from Fredrik Sjostrom behind the Anaheim net, circled around to the front and stuffed the puck past netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a 1-0 Coyotes lead.
Three minutes later, the Ducks would have an opportunity to tie the game when a tripping call on Coyotes forward Yanic Lehoux gave Anaheim the first power play of the night. Phoenix was able to contain the Ducks attack for most of the man-advantage, but then with 15-seconds left on the penalty to Lehoux, Anaheim blueliner Ric Jackman released a quick snap shot form the slot the beat goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to even the score at 1-1. Chris Perry and McDonald recorded the assists on Jackman's second tally of the season.
With just over eight minutes remaining in the opening period, Phoenix defenseman Keith Ballard fell awkwardly into the boards behind the Coyotes goal. Fortunately, Ballard was able to finish his shift and return to action after a short rest on the bench.
With 5:14 to play in the period, Sjostrom drew the first Anaheim penalty when he used his speed to get around a pair of Anaheim players and drive to the net, forcing the Ducks' Kent Huskins to take a tripping call to prevent a scoring chance.
On the ensuing man-advantage, the Coyotes were able to set up inside the Anaheim zone and deliver a series of shots on goal, but Giguere was able to keep the puck from entering the net as the Ducks eventually returned to full strength.
Neither club would register the go-ahead goal in the remainder of the first, as the Coyotes and Ducks headed off the ice after 20-minutes of play, tied at 1-1.
Early in the second period, the Ducks recorded two quality-scoring chances as Chris Kunitz and Corey Perry tested Tellqvist early. However, the Coyotes goaltender stood his ground and emerged from the opening minutes with the game still tied at 1-1.
Near the four-minute mark of the second, Anaheim's Brad May delivered a big open-ice hit on Phoenix's Yanic Lehoux, sending the Coyotes center to the ice, but without a penalty on the play.
At 5:01 of the period, the Coyotes power play retuned to the ice when Tim Brent was called for tripping. Phoenix would try to establish an offensive presence with the extra attacker, but we dealt a blow to their plans at 6:29 of the period when the Coyotes were called for too-many men on the ice. Rookie forward Daniel Carcillo served the bench minor for Phoenix.
The march to the penalty box continued just over a minute later, this time, from the Anaheim side as defenseman Scott Niedermayer was called for interference. Eventually both clubs would return to full strength, with the score still even at one goal apiece.
Late in the period, Daniel Carcillo delivered a good wrist shot on net from the left face-off circle, but Giguere was able to cover the puck in the crease and get a whistle to halt the Coyotes attack and bring the period to a close.
Through the first four minutes of the third period, the Ducks dominated the play, getting the puck deep in the Phoenix end and blasting the puck at the Coyotes net. The only flaw committed by Anaheim during their offensive attack was their inability to actually get the puck on goal as a series of drives sailed wide of the net.
With just over five minutes gone in the period, the Ducks thought they had scored when a tip by Anaheim's Kunitz, at the top of the crease, saw the puck trickle past Tellqvist and toward the goal line. But just before the puck was about to cross the line, Phoenix forward Mike Zigomanis swooped in and batted the puck back out of harms way, keeping the game tied.
At 8:15 of the third, Anaheim's Kent Huskins made his second appearance in the penalty box when he was assessed a minor penalty for holding. With the man-advantage, the Coyotes ere only able to produce pockets of pressure as Anaheim eventually killed off penalty and returned to full strength.
With 8:02 remaining in regulation, the Ducks took their first lead of the night when defenseman Joe Dipenta released a wrist shot from the left side that ricocheted off a trio of Coyotes before somehow finding a path into the Coyotes goal for a 2-1 Anaheim advantage.
The Coyotes gave the Ducks their third power play of the game at 16:20 of the third as Derek Morris was called for interference. Despite being down a skater, the Phoenix penalty-killing unit did a good job of keeping the pressure off Tellqvist, giving the Coyotes one final opportunity to tie the game.
With 51-seconds left in the third, Coyotes' Head Coach Wayne Gretzky used his lone timeout to rest his top line and discuss strategy. When play resumed, Phoenix also pulled Tellqvist form the net for an extra attacker. While the Coyotes would be able to get a pair of pucks on goal, Giguere was able to make the saves as Anaheim held on for a 2-1 victory.