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Recap: Ducks Lose Three Two-Goal Leads in 5-4 Defeat to Arizona

by Adam Brady @AdamJBrady / AnaheimDucks.com

ANAHEIM - The tone was set for a wild night early at Honda Center, right about the time Ondrej Kase went jubilantly leaping into the glass less than a minute after the opening faceoff.

Kase's breakaway backhand goal and subsequent celebration came just 46 seconds into the game, just a preview of a topsy-turvy, high-scoring affair between the Ducks and visiting Coyotes in which Arizona prevailed in overtime, 5-4.

Video: ARI@ANA: Kase scores on breakaway in opening minute

The Ducks surrendered three separate two-goal leads on the night, and Arizona ended it just 33 seconds into the extra session on Nick Schmaltz's second of the game off a 2-on-1 rush.

It was the fifth straight defeat for the Ducks, though they did earn their first point over that stretch.

"We were too loose defensively," lamented Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We had three two-goal leads, and you should be able to finish it out. We were guilty of trying to be too cute in the second period. We didn't play the simple grind game that's required. We tried to get over-passing, over-handling and trying to make too fancy of plays. It cost us."

After Kase's goal (his first of two on the night) gave the Ducks an early advantage, they made it 2-0 later in the period on the power play on a beautiful play in which Jakob Silfverberg made a blind backhand pass to Daniel Sprong, who hammered home a one-timer. It was Sprong's fourth goal in 11 games since coming to the Ducks in an early December trade with Pittsburgh.

Video: ARI@ANA: Sprong hammers one-timer past Hill for PPG

A very questionable cross checking penalty on Brandon Montour gave the Coyotes a 5-on-3 near the end of the period, and they cashed in just as the original penalty expired on a one-timer by Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The Ducks got it right back just 12 seconds into the middle frame when Nick Ritchie pounced on a Coyotes turnover in their own end and hit Adam Henrique, who caught goalie Adin Hill out of position.

Video: ARI@ANA: Henrique pots Ritchie's pass after giveaway

But the Ducks came apart the rest of the period, giving one away near the midway point when goalie John Gibson was caught behind his own net as the puck took a strange bounce off the end boards, and Arizona's Christian Fischer filled the open net.

"It wasn't a very good period for us," Ritchie said. "We just kind of broke down a couple times and they scored. That hasn't really been us in this last little while. We've been in a lot of tight games. Tonight, for whatever reason, in the second, we just kind of took our foot off the gas and let in some easy goals."

The Ducks actually retook the two-goal lead with 7:42 left in the period when Ritchie tipped a Hampus Lindholm point shot and it caromed off Kase's thigh and into the Arizona net.

Video: ARI@ANA: Kase scores second goal on deflection

Soon afterward, the Yotes got right back into it on a nice connection on the rush from Lawson Crouse to Nick Cousins, and they tied it just as quickly on a hammered one-timer by Jakob Chychrun.

After all that, neither team found the net in the third, but the Coyotes made one count early in overtime.

"Mistakes ended up in our net," Henrique said. "That's really it. You want to play with the lead. That's where you need to tighten up defensively and make sure you don't give up anything for free. Those mistakes, letting them hang around, tie it up and get to overtime, that's it."

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