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Beauchemin leads Ducks past Coyotes

by Curtis Zupke
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The formula for beating the Anaheim Ducks was clear earlier in the season -shut down their top line and expose their lack of depth and shaky goaltending.

Wednesday night was the latest example that that's no longer the case.

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored twice and the third and fourth lines combined for two goals and six assists in a 6-2 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Honda Center.

Jonas Hiller improved to 4-0-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average in his last six appearances while veteran Jason Blake, recently moved to the third line with Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano, contributed his fourth goal in three games.

The bottom-feeding Ducks are 6-0-1 in their past seven games, with 31 goals scored and 13 allowed in that span. Anaheim's last seven-game point streak was in November 2010 when it went 6-0-1.

It was much longer ago that third-line depth was last seen in Anaheim.

"It's huge, especially in a game like that tonight," said Beauchemin, who matched a career-high with two goals. "Getzky's (Ryan Getzlaf) line got support from Cogliano's line. I think they were probably are best line. They were really hard on their team. They did the little things to create stuff offensively. I think that's just the key to it."

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau found fault in a poor second period in which Anaheim was outshot, 6-4, but six goals against a usually sound defensively Coyotes team was an accomplishment.

"I'm not complaining at all," Boudreau said. "There's times this year we would have taken half of that and been happy."

Phoenix, which had been one of the League's better road teams, extended its road losing streak to six games (0-3-3), its longest such streak since 2009.

At least one Coyotes player acknowledged that Anaheim is a much different team than their last meeting on Dec. 14.

"They seemed to be into it a lot more," Daymond Langkow said. "They just kept coming at us. I don't think they outplayed us a ton but they got chances and they capitalized."

Resiliency was a major issue for Anaheim earlier this season but it ran off three goals after Phoenix tied the game 2-2 midway through the second period.

After his team put one shot on goal in the first 13 minutes of the second period, Boudreau called timeout and watched them score on their second shot of the period. Beauchemin got open in the slot and roofed a great pass by Cogliano for a 3-2 lead.
Hiller made a glove save Taylor Pyatt with 1:23 to go in the period, and the Ducks went the other way with their third line as Blake finished a tic-tac-toe play with Cogliano and Bonino for a 4-2 lead.

"I think we've matured as the season has gone on here," Cogliano said. "In the beginning of the season when teams would score, you could see things bad happening right after. And now, with guys scoring and just us playing better defensively all around, you can tell that we're more confident. I think that's the main thing. Confidence is in play."

Beauchemin gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead when he fired a slap shot from the left side on Lubomir Visnovsky's rebound.

Visnovsky was the victim on Phoenix's second goal as he fell down when Ray Whitney cut around him in the right circle and fed an unchecked Langkow in the slot for an easy snap shot past Hiller.

But the Coyotes' special teams left a lot to be desired as they went 0-for-4 on the power play and gave up a shorthanded breakaway goal to Corey Perry with 3:37 remaining in the game.

"That is something we've been working on," Langkow said. "Our power play and our penalty kill – it can win you games. It's not like we're not trying. We've just got to bear down a little bit more and work a little bit harder on the special teams."

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett has talked about wading through a difficult part of its schedule – Wednesday marked eight road games in a 10-game span – and tried to take positives out of a loss.

"I thought there were some good things in the game for us," Tippett said. "You probably don't believe that in a 6-2 score. We were doing some things fairly well, I thought. They got some timely goals to break the game open – it was the difference in the game."

Phoenix will open a six-game homestand Friday against Detroit.

"The last couple games have been real strong at home," Tippett said. "We've got to come home in a back-to-back situation, suck it up and play well."

Teemu Selanne moved into a tie with Rod Brind'Amour for 44th on the all-time assists list with 732.
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