Despite their most complete performance of the preseason, a late penalty in overtime proved costly for the Ducks, who dropped a 3-2 final against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday night. Michael Sgarbossa and Nick Sorensen scored for Anaheim, while John Gibson (16-of-17, 30:15) and Jonathan Bernier (11-of-13, 33:38) split goaltending duties in their preseason debuts.
Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome and Shane Doan scored for Arizona, which improved to 3-1-1 in the preseason. The Ducks, meanwhile, remain winless with an 0-2-1 record through three games.
The Ducks opened the scoring on a goal from Sgarbossa, who fired a slap shot past goaltender Mike Smith at the 5:44 mark of the first period. Sgarbossa was the third-leading scorer on the San Diego Gulls last season, registering 44 points (17g/27a) in 62 games.
Anaheim's lead would stand until defenseman Clayton Stoner was called for cross-checking at 10:59 of the opening frame. With Stoner in the penalty box, Duclair evened the score with a power-play tally 18 seconds later. The goal was Duclair's first point in three preseason games thus far.
The Ducks regained the lead shortly after when Sorensen converted on a 2-on-1 rush with Sgarbossa at 13:12 of the first period.
After matching their goal output from the previous two games combined, the Ducks took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, with the shots even at 11 apiece.
Midway through the second period, former teammates Korbinian Holzer and Jamie McGinn dropped the gloves after McGinn leveled Ducks center Tyler Morley with a big hit along the boards. McGinn was acquired by Anaheim at the trade deadline last season from Buffalo, and went on to record 12 points (8g/4a) in 21 regular season games, and two goals in seven Stanley Cup Playoff contests. The 28-year-old left wing signed a three-year contract with the Coyotes this past July.
After taking over for Gibson midway through the second stanza, Bernier only had to face one shot on goal before the period came to a close.
Anaheim, which had been outshot 84-54 through the first two games, took a 25-18 shot advantage into the second intermission.
The Coyotes would come inches from tying the score in the opening minute of the third period when a loose puck found its way to Duclair, who was parked near the post. Unfortunately for Duclair, the puck hopped over his stick and out of harm's way - much to the relief of Bernier, who was sprawled out in the crease.
Arizona's best offensive sequence of the third period came with nine minutes remaining, when Strome beat Bernier with a wrist shot to tie the game 2-2.
With the scored tied through 60 minutes of play, both clubs began the 3-on-3 overtime with open ice. Arizona's first quality chance came midway through OT when Laurent Dauphin was robbed by Bernier on a breakaway. The Ducks would get a chance of their own, this time from Nick Ritchie, who was denied by Smith in the crease.
Bernier would have to make another breakaway save a minute later, this time on Christian Dvorak, who was slashed on his attempt by former Coyotes center Antoine Vermette.
On a 4-on-3 power play, it was the 39-year-old Doan who would seal the victory for the Coyotes on a snap shot that beat Bernier at 3:53 of overtime.
Bernier stopped 11-of-13 shots in the loss, which dropped Anaheim's preseason record to 0-2-1. The Ducks finished the game with 40 shots on goal.
The Ducks will return to action tomorrow night, when they host the LA Kings at Honda Center at 5 p.m. PT.