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Coyotes try to cool off Ducks

by Staff /

COYOTES (4-2-1) at DUCKS (5-1-0)


Season series: This is the first of five meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. The Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks met four times last season, including three games in a five-day span, with the Coyotes winning three of the four games.

Big story: After dropping their opening game of the season, the Ducks are looking for their sixth straight win as they continue a five-game homestand.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Despite blowing a two-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators on Tuesday, the Coyotes have gained points in four straight games.

"We were lucky to get out of the first period even. Then we got a two-goal lead but we couldn't hang on to it … They were hungry, they came after us and we didn't respond. Then we got a lead and we didn't play smart," Radim Vrbata said.

Vrbata scored his fourth goal of the season and Antoine Vermette had a pair of assists.

Coach Dave Tippett said if not for some errors, the Coyotes could have easily won.

"Take a couple mental mistakes out of our game we might be able to get two points out of that. It doesn't matter if it's the first game back from a trip, doesn't matter if you're tired. Whatever it is, find a way to win ... I hate making excuses for not winning," he said.

Ducks: Viktor Fasth was the big star, turning aside 34 of 35 shots as the Ducks held off the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Wednesday. The game-winner was scored by Teemu Selanne, who scored his first goal of the season and the 676th of his career. But he felt the Ducks did not play their best game.

"Sometimes you got to be lucky. But to be honest, that was not a very good hockey game from us," he said. "It was good that we won. A lot of times, like last year, we won the games when we didn't play really well. But, we just found a way to win again. That's a good thing. But it was not pretty out there, especially the third period. Viktor stole the points for us."

Fasth made 16 saves in the third period and came up huge as the Ducks escaped with two points.

"I was little shaky in the first 20 [minutes], I think. It was hard to read bounces. But I felt better the longer the game went and the guys really helped out there today. It was really good to get that win," Fasth said.

Who's hot: Rob Klinkhammer has three goals in his past two games for the Coyotes. … Dustin Penner, who had two goals for the Los Angeles Kings all last season, has matched that total with goals in each of the past two games.

Injury report: Defensemen Rostislav Klesla (upper body) is doubtful and Derek Morris (lower body) is questionable for the Coyotes. ... Defensemen Luca Sbisa (left ankle) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) along with wing Matt Beleskey (upper body) are all on injured reserve for the Ducks.

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