ANAHEIM -- While the preseason is often the time for the younger players and newcomers to earn their spots, it was the Ducks veterans who shined tonight.
Jakob Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm each potted a goal, while goalies John Gibson and Ryan Miller did their part at the other end of the rink in a 2-1 defeat of the Arizona Coyotes in the preseason finale at Honda Center. It was the third straight win to end the preseason for the Ducks, who went 4-1-1.
"We're being positive," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, on the cusp of his 15th opening night with Anaheim. "We're moving in the right direction. That's the main thing we're looking for in the preseason. The results are great, but it's about building our game."
The Ducks fell behind 1-0 in the opening eight minutes on a breakaway by Coyotes winger Vinnie Hinostroza.
Anaheim ultimately tied it with 6:46 left in the middle frame on a beautiful play by Silfverberg, who was stopped by goalie Darcy Kuemper on his initial shot but slammed home the rebound.
Video: Silfverberg ties the game against Arizona
Gibson looked like he got banged up late in the second period, and he was replaced by Miller to start the third. Anaheim gave him a lead 5 1/2 minutes into the third on a power play when Lindholm's one-timer from the point sailed through traffic and eluded Kuemper.
Video: Lindholm's power-play blast gives the Ducks the lead!
"The goal was setup from Getzlaf and Hampus [Lindholm] moving the puck very quickly, without holding it and letting them set up in their penalty kill," noted Dallas Eakins, days from his first Opening Night as Ducks head coach. "It's something we really want to keep going."
Miller made a huge save with just under four minutes left and the Ducks on the penalty kill, lunging to glove a point blank one-timer by Phil Kessel to retain a one-goal lead that held until the final horn.
Video: Ryan Miller's cross-crease save stones Phil Kessel
The Ducks' next action comes on a highly anticipated Opening Night on Thursday, October 3 at Honda Center against these same Coyotes. Limited tickets are still available at anaheimducks.com/opening night.
"We have a good feeling within our team right now," said Ducks forward Rickard Rakell. "We have confidence in our game. I thought we played really well tonight. We were playing the kind of hockey we thought was hard to play against last season. We didn't get them much room. Our defense is playing [with confidence] with the puck. We're covering each other. I know it's preseason, but we're playing good hockey right now."