If the first two games are any indication, the Phoenix Coyotes
may have put together a winning formula in their search to get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
Rookies Mikkel Boedker
and Kyle Turris
each scored their first NHL goal, and captain Shane Doan
tallied twice as the Coyotes beat the Anaheim Ducks
4-2 Sunday at Honda Center for their second win in as many nights. Ilya Bryzgalov
made 34 saves.
Turris, who also had an assist, and Boedker provided a glimpse of what the new, youthful Coyotes might bring to the rink. Turris was taken by Phoenix with the third pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and Boedker was selected eighth this year. Still another rookie, former University of Michigan star Kevin Porter
, notched his second assist in two games for the Coyotes.
“They’re a special group. The veteran players around them have brought them along nicely,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky
said. “They play hard and they want to get better and it’s fun to be around them.
“These kids are pretty unique and they are pretty good. I think although they’re kids, they’re pretty mature. They really have their eyes wide-open and are having a lot of fun.”
Phoenix also went out and traded for former Florida captain Olli Jokinen
during the offseason, and he recorded a goal and an assist Saturday in a 3-1 home victory against Columbus.
and George Parros
scored for the Ducks, who have been to the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and the Stanley Cup Final twice, winning in 2007, but have lost their first two of the new campaign.
“I don’t know if we’re out of sync, I think we just need more urgency,” Parros said. “I like the lines, I think everyone’s comfortable, but we’re just not getting ready to go early enough in the game. We bring too much in the later half of the game and need to dig ourselves out of holes, so we need to be better at that.”
The Coyotes built a 3-0 lead by midway through the second period. Boedker netted the lone goal of the opening 20 minutes when he finished off a 2-on-1 break with Steve Reinprecht, slicing past Ducks defenseman Steve Montador
and beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere
to his stick side at the 11:40 mark.
“So far there have only been two games, but every one is special, and obviously getting my goal in my second game, that’s unbelievable,” Boedker said.
Reinprecht’s long pass sprung Doan for his first of the night and a 2-0 lead 1:51 into the second, as he broke behind the Anaheim defense, deked Giguere to his right at close range and veered to his left to score on a backhander. Turris, who had an assist in three NHL games at the end of last season, got his first goal at 8:56 off a goalmouth scramble when Giguere couldn’t cover the puck.
Carter got the Ducks on the board with 6:04 left in the second, but Doan restored the Coyotes’ three-goal lead on a power-play goal set up by Turris with 3:40 to play in the third. Parros beat Bryzgalov just 13 seconds later, but that was the end of the Ducks’ comeback attempt.
“We’re just not where we need to be with our focus,” Scott Niedermayer
said. “We’re working, but we’re not working smart and we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Teams have success in this League by playing as a team, everybody knows what each other’s doing, and you’re playing the system. When you’re playing that well, you have good results. Right now, we’re really not doing that as five guys in the ice.”
Sharks 1, Kings 0 | VIDEO
was a revelation for San Jose late last season when he was acquired from the Philadelphia organization and promptly solidified the backup goalie position. He’s picking up right where he left off.
Boucher stopped all 21 shots he faced for his 15th career shutout and Lukas Kaspar
netted his first NHL goal as the Sharks blanked the Kings at Staples Center to sweep a home-and-home series.
“I’m really, really happy for Boucher,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan
. “He probably didn’t have the preseason that he’d like, he’d probably admit that. Coming in behind (Evgeni Nabokov
) you never know when you’re going to get your starts. Bouche stepped up and he was probably our best player tonight and you need that when you’re playing ugly, so we’re real proud of him."
After Nabokov led San Jose to a 3-1 win at HP Pavilion on Saturday, a game the Sharks dominated with a 41-13 shots advantage, Boucher found himself in a much tighter battle. Kaspar scored 9:56 into the second period off a feed from Patrick Marleau
, then the Kings had a pair of potential goals disallowed.
thought he had a power-play goal with Kaspar in the box for hooking, but his point shot that beat Boucher was negated because of a crease violation. Matt Moulson
later crashed the net on Boucher while following up his shot and the puck trickled in, but video review determined Moulson used a distinct kicking motion to direct the puck and the goal didn’t count.
"These kids are pretty unique and they are pretty good. I think although they’re kids, they’re pretty mature. They really have their eyes wide-open and are having a lot of fun." – Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky on rookies Kyle Turris and Mikkel Boedker
The game was a homecoming for defenseman Rob Blake
, who played parts of 14 seasons during two stints with the Kings, but signed with the Sharks in the offseason. Blake, who sits atop the franchise list for about every major record for a blueliner, heard nothing but boos from the Los Angeles fans whenever he touched the puck.
“It’s been like that over the years, it’s not the first time, I did it with Colorado. It’s not a problem,” said Blake who was impressed with his former team. “They’re going to be a good young team, they have a lot of kids coming along.”
Apparently the Sharks aren’t doing badly themselves when it comes to player development. Playing in only his sixth NHL game, Kaspar looked impressive when he whistled a wrist shot from the right circle past Kings goalie Jason LaBarbera
for the game’s only goal.
“I just wanted to put it on his far side and then it went post and in,” said Kaspar. “I didn’t even see it, to tell you the truth. I was looking around and I didn’t see the puck, then I see the referees pointing at the net so I was happy.”
Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.