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game recap

Gibson makes 41 saves, Ducks shut out Coyotes

Rookie Comtois scores only goal, his second in first two NHL games

by Alan Robinson / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Gibson made 41 saves, and rookie forward Max Comtois scored his second goal in as many NHL games to help the Anaheim Ducks defeat the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 at Gila River Arena on Saturday for their first 2-0-0 start since 2012-13.

The Ducks opened their season with a 5-2 win at the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, when they were outshot 33-15 but Gibson made 31 saves. They have been outshot 74-35 in two games.

"Maybe we had a slow start in the first, but I thought as the game went longer, we got stronger and we found a way," said Gibson, who has 17 NHL shutouts. "If you watch us enough, we usually don't do it the easy way. ... (But) I'm trying to be the best I can be every night."


[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Coyotes highlights]


Gibson made his two most important saves with Arizona on a 5-on-3 power play for 59 seconds in the final minute and goalie Antti Raanta pulled for the extra attacker.

"You don't see too many 6-on-3s but had a couple of good bounces, kept the pressure on it, and [Gibson] obviously making a couple of big saves was key for us," Ducks forward Adam Henrique said. "We had to find a way there at the end."

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet wasn't happy with the missed opportunity, saying, "Unfortunately, we've got to score in that position."

"That's why it's so important to work on your game, work on your shots, your reps and second and third effort," Tocchet said. "It's a hard league to score in, and I thought we left some opportunities to shoot the puck out there. We got too antsy on the 5-on-3, instead of sticking to what we do in practice."

Comtois scored in the final minute of the second period against the Coyotes after scoring in the first minute of his first NHL game against the Sharks.

With the Ducks on the counterattack, Comtois took Cam Fowler's pass, broke in from the blue line, and put the puck between Raanta's pads with 32 seconds left to make it 1-0.

Video: ANA@ARI: Comtois goes five-hole for opening tally

Raanta said he thought Comtois might try to shoot the puck higher as he came in on what he called a "half breakaway."

"It was a tough one to let in," Raanta said.

Raanta made 19 saves, but the Coyotes were shut out for the second straight game to open the season and haven't scored in three straight dating to their final game last season, a 3-0 loss to Anaheim. They lost 3-0 at the Dallas Stars on Thursday, with Dallas scoring all three goals in a 96-second span of the second period.

Arizona started 0-1-1 last season and was 0-10-1 before winning its first game under Tocchet on Oct. 30 at the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It's only two games into the season, we've got to chill out there," Tocchet said. "We've played two pretty good games and we can't score right now, and it is what it is."

Video: ANA@ARI: Gibson denies Ekman-Larsson with his glove

The Coyotes began the game with an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal and started the third period by taking the first eight shots against Gibson, who improved to 5-1-0 against them.

The Ducks began the season with four injured forwards (Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Ondrej Kase, Corey Perry) and played the final 16:32 against the Coyotes without center Ryan Getzlaf, who left the ice favoring his right leg. After the game, coach Randy Carlyle said Getzlaf had a lower-body injury but gave no further update.

"We asked people to step up and ... all our [centers] that were available had to play extra minutes for the third period, basically," Carlyle said. "Kudos to them. You've got to find ways to manufacture points ... and we've found a way to steal some points."

Video: ANA@ARI: Gibson absorbs Stepan's shot


They said it

"When you get to the end of the game, it's about sacrifice and doing the little things. We really did that." -- Ducks goalie John Gibson


"We had more push (than in the first game) and we had the chances to score a goal, but Gibson was very good. One chance was what they got, and they scored. It's tough to take. But you have to keep working and believe that it's coming." -- Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta


Need to know

Kesler (hip), Eaves (shoulder) and Kase (concussion) did not travel with the Ducks. Perry had knee surgery Sept. 26 and is expected to be out until late February. ... The Ducks and Coyotes play again Wednesday in Anaheim. The Ducks are 7-2-0 against the Coyotes the past three seasons. ... The Coyotes are 3-19-1 in October since 2016-17. .... Raanta will wearing a mask honoring longtime Coyotes captain Shane Doan for all Saturday home games. Doan's No. 19 will be retired by the Coyotes on Feb. 24. ... Coyotes defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin had one shot on goal and four hits in 11:14 in his NHL debut. He took Jordan Oesterle's place in the lineup after the defenseman was injured on a hit by Stars forward Tyler Pitlick in the season opener.


What's next

Ducks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Monday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: At the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Video: Gibson, Comtois lead Ducks to 1-0 win against Coyotes

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