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Ducks hand Coyotes first regulation loss at home

by Jerry Brown

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With eight players now out of the lineup, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau knows he is asking the remaining healthy bodies on the bench to dig deep these days.

But there seems to be no shortage of Ducks eager to grab a shovel.

Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Sami Vatanen broke open a 1-1 game with three goals in a span of 8:43 in the second period and the Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 Saturday night despite being outshot 44-26.

"We have a lot of depth," said Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf, who assisted on Perry's goal to extend his points streak to five games. "We had to play so many guys so many games last year and they played really well. Now we've had numerous guys go down here again and guys keep stepping in and filling those roles, and we have great goaltending."

Penner scored two goals and goalie Jonas Hiller made 42 saves to give the Ducks their second win in as many nights. Unlike the 1-0 overtime home win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, there was plenty of offense on display against the Coyotes.

The Ducks, who lost defenseman Luca Sbisa for 6-8 weeks with a tendon tear in his right hand and goalie Viktor Fasth for 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury on Friday, lost defenseman Bryan Allen to a lower-body injury in the second period. Right wing Teemu Selanne sat out the second of back-to-back games, adding to a laundry list of Ducks who remain on the sidelines.

"Players are making great sacrifices," Boudreau said. "You can see it in the blocked shots and the effort they are giving. The perseverance comes with great character and we've got a lot of really good character guys on this team that don't like to lose, even games when you should."

Phoenix has lost nine times (regulation and overtime) this season, and three of those losses have come against the Ducks, who beat the Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 18 and again 5-2 on Nov. 6, both at Honda Center. Phoenix was 3-0-2 since the second loss.

The Coyotes had a season-high 44 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and had 44 more Saturday, but lost both games. Hiller backed up his 31-save shutout against Tampa Bay with another strong effort, playing especially well during a 15-save first period.

Mike Ribeiro and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who lost in regulation at Arena for the first time this season (9-1-2). The Ducks are the only team in the League without a home regulation loss (9-0-2).

Doan added an assist, extending his point streak to eight games.

"We had chances we didn't bury and when we let that team hang around, they are going to find ways to score goals," Doan said. "Give them credit … they've got some guys that can make plays, and they did."

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made 18 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Anaheim's Emerson Etem in the second period, before being replaced by Thomas Greiss for the third. Turnovers by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson led to both of Anaheim's even-strength goals.

Phoenix not only lost the game, it lost its leading scorer. Martin Hanzal, who had produced 19 points in the first 22 games, left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

"I've always said Marty is our most important forward," Doan said. "He makes everything go for us, he gives us depth and he's a big body in the middle that's so good in front of the net."

The Ducks, who came into the game with three road power-play goals in 46 chances, scored on two of four chances Saturday. The first one helped turn around a slow start.

The Coyotes outshot the Ducks 8-0 in the first five minutes. Keith Yandle hit the crossbar early in the first period and Radim Vrbata caught a post later, but Phoenix came up empty on three power-play chances, while the Ducks made the most of their opportunity.

With Ribeiro in the penalty box for hooking, Penner got away from Phoenix forward Jeff Halpern, took a pass from Cam Fowler and put a wrist shot over Smith at 11:11 of the opening period.

"We started well, but we needed to get something out of it. We get four or five pretty good opportunities and don't score, then they get one and it's in the net," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We kept making mistakes and they got further ahead."

After Smith stoned Etem on the penalty shot 4:55 into the second period, Ribero batted the rebound of a Derek Morris shot out of midair and past Hiller at 7:27 for his seventh goal. But Anaheim answered quickly and dominated the rest of the period.

Penner got his second of the night at 8:03, going in 2-on-1 with Getzlaf and beating Smith inside the right circle.

Perry made it 3-1 at 11:01 He took a pass from Getzlaf, chipped the puck past Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette, cut to the middle of the ice around a helpless Michael Stone and whistled a wrist shot high to the glove side for his 13th goal.

"That’s why he makes $8.5 million," Boudreau said with a smile.

Vatanen capped the run at 16:43 via the power play, taking a feed from Mathieu Perreault in the slot and scoring to give the Ducks a three-goal lead. It was the 13th goal allowed by the Phoenix penalty kill in the past 11 games.

"Penner's second goal was bigger than the first," Boudreau said. "I'm sure they are sitting there saying, 'We've outplayed them pretty badly in the first, we just tied it and all of a sudden they score again. What's going on?' And then before they had time to think, Corey scored and we added the other power-play goal."

Doan made it 4-2 at 4:20 of the third, deflecting an Ekman-Larsson shot past Hiller for his 32nd goal and 70th point in 95 career games against Anaheim.

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