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game recap

Raanta sparks Coyotes past Ducks for first win

Makes 23 saves, stops all three in shootout

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Antti Raanta made 23 saves, then stopped all three shots in a shootout to help the Arizona Coyotes win their first game of the season, 3-2 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday.

 

[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Ducks highlights]

 

Dylan Strome and Brad Richardson scored for Arizona (1-2-0), and Nick Cousins scored the only goal in the shootout.

"Off the bat, I just wanted to make every save I can and give us a chance to win," Raanta said. "We scored a couple goals, so the confidence went straight up." 

Ryan Kesler scored in his season debut, Ben Street scored his first NHL goal, and John Gibson made 37 saves for the Ducks (3-0-1).

Video: ARI@ANA: Cousins eludes poke check, nets SO goal

Kesler lifted a rebound high in the net at 5:52 of the first period to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead.

Kesler, 34, sat out the preseason and first three games to gain strength and conditioning related to his hip surgery in June 2017. He played the final 44 regular-season games and all four Stanley Cup Playoff games in the sweep by the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round last season, but wasn't 100 percent.

"It was nice to hear the cheers, and the welcome back that I got was pretty special since everything I went through for past year and a half," Kesler said. "It hasn't been fun, and I had fun out there tonight."

Strome scored on the power play to tie it 1-1 at 17:33.

Arizona went on the power play after Anaheim defenseman Andrej Sustr was called for hooking Brendan Perlini.

Strome dove against the wall and nudged the puck back to Clayton Keller at the blue line to keep possession in the Anaheim zone, and Keller passed back to Strome as he got to his feet. Strome had room to skate into the left circle and take a wrist shot that beat Gibson between his pads for the first goal of the season for the Coyotes.

"It was a lot of relief," Strome said. "Everyone was kind of just like oh, thank God. We definitely didn't want to go into the end of a period, another period, without scoring a goal."

Video: ARI@ANA: Strome fires PPG through Gibson's five-hole

The Ducks were on their first power play early in the second period when Arizona defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson tipped a centering pass to Michael Grabner to spring a 2-on-1 break. Grabner slid a pass to Richardson, who redirected the puck past Gibson for a 2-1 lead at 5:24.

Shortly after the second Anaheim power play ended, Street took advantage of a mistimed line change by Arizona to tie it 2-2.

Street received a pass from defenseman Marcus Pettersson at the Arizona blue line and had room to skate in and score on the short side from the left circle at 14:39. It was his 39th NHL game.

"Kind of a long time coming," Street said. "I played a long time and you don't feel that legitimate until you score in the NHL, so it was an exciting moment and I'm happy it's over with.

"I knew I wasn't in a great spot to try and beat [Raanta] far side, so I tried to just make him go down a little bit and tried to beat him upstairs."

The Ducks had the best chance to win with 2:20 remaining in overtime, but Raanta made a glove save on Max Comtois from in close.

"I just didn't want to let in goals," Raanta said. "In OT, it might be one save can turn the game around and, obviously, we didn't score in OT, but we got to the shootout and we won there. It feels really good and the confidence in this group is very high now." 

Video: ARI@ANA: Raanta denies Silfverberg to clinch SO win

 

They said it

"I think [the first win] relieves a little bit of pressure. I thought we did some good parts, but a little loose too. We're going to enjoy the win. We have some work to do but there was a lot of chances on both teams tonight, especially early on." -- Arizona coach Rick Tocchet

 

"As a team tonight we played pretty good but we're just giving up too many chances and too many shots, and we need to shore that up. "We're fortunate to be 3-0-1 and, saying that, we're glad we are." -- Ducks forward Ryan Kesler

 

Need to know

Arizona forward Derek Stepan played in his 600th NHL game. He's the first player selected outside the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft class to reach that milestone. … It was the Coyotes' first win in Anaheim since Nov. 9, 2015 (4-3 in OT). They had been 0-4-1. … The Ducks were trying to join the 2016-17 Vancouver Canucks and 2017-18 St. Louis Blues as the only teams to start 4-0-0 the past three seasons. The Canucks and Blues each missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

What's next

Coyotes: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Ducks: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW, PRIME, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Coyotes edge Ducks in SO to earn first win

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