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Duclair, Vermette help Coyotes defeat Ducks

by Jerry Brown /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Coyotes rookie forward Anthony Duclair's third-period goal proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena on Wednesday.

It was Duclair's fifth goal in three games against the Ducks.

"They have a great team with great skill. I'm just getting lucky, I guess," Duclair said. "We've had success against them early in the season, but they are turning it around. We knew we had to play a 200-foot game and be everywhere."

The Coyotes (11-9-1) have won all three games against the Ducks and are 6-1-0 against the Pacific Division.

Duclair and linemate Max Domi, who had two assists Wednesday, have scored eight of Arizona's 12 goals against Anaheim.

"I'm sure with what [Duclair and Domi] have done to [the Ducks] points-wise, you have to have a little bit of a focus there," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "They started a little slow, they lost some battles and were hemmed in their zone. It took them awhile to get up and running."

Coyotes center Antoine Vermette scored twice to end his 39-game regular-season goal drought.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen had a goal and an assist, and captain Ryan Getzlaf earned his sixth assist in the past two games for Anaheim (8-11-4), which lost for the ninth time in 12 road games.

"We knew the importance of this game. We knew what we were trying to achieve," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We had pockets [of good play], and then we had time where we looked like we were brain-dead.

"You give up some bad goals while you can't score 5-on-5 … it's not a good combination.

Coming off a 5-3 home win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, the Ducks were unable to keep the momentum going.

"It's frustrating," Getzlaf said. "We should have come in with some excitement today and we came out flat. Not that we played horrible, but we didn't have the energy and didn't have our entire lineup going all night.

"That's a good team. They play hard. They've got some young kids that skate and play the game."

Goalie Mike Smith had 29 saves for the Coyotes. He has made 66 saves on 68 shots in two victories against the Ducks.

Arizona played without captain Shane Doan, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury.

Opening a three-game, four-night homestand wrapped around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Coyotes got off to a quick start with some early scoring chances and a goal.

Kyle Chipchura won a battle for the puck with Ducks center Mike Santorelli before pushing it back to Michael Stone just inside the Anaheim blue line. Using teammate Boyd Gordon as a screen in front, Stone put a low, hard shot past goalie John Gibson at 3:14 for his second goal of the season.

Arizona doubled its lead 5:25 into the second period after Anaheim's Shawn Horcoff was called for cross-checking Brad Richardson, his second penalty of the game.

Domi put a pass on the stick of Mikkel Boedker, who redirected the puck to the Anaheim net. Gibson made the save, but Vermette pounced on the rebound and tucked it around Gibson's outstretched pad.

Vermette, who had four goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks, including two in the Final, had not scored a regular-season goal since Feb. 14, when he had one against the New York Rangers for Arizona prior to the trade to Chicago.

"I think when you are younger, you are a little more sensitive to those (goalless) stretches," Vermette said. "But as you get older, you know if you keep putting the work in, it's going to come. All that being said, it's always nice to put the puck in the net every once in a while."

Anaheim, which has the NHL's top-ranked penalty kill (87.7 percent), has allowed three of its 10 goals while shorthanded to Arizona -- one in each game.

The Ducks scored on the power play early in the third period after a tripping penalty on Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder late in the second. Kesler camped in the slot and redirected a shot by Vatanen past Smith for his third goal at 00:38.

But the Ducks could not seize the momentum.

Domi swiped a Patrick Maroon pass inside the Anaheim blue line and found Duclair dashing up the slot. Duclair deked Gibson to the ice and tucked the backhand behind him at 1:57 to restore the two-goal lead.

"I saw him behind the two D-men -- he was cherry-picking a little -- so you've gotta give it to him," Domi said. "He made a great move, which was fun to see. He works so hard every day and he's a fun guy to be around. It's great to see him be so successful, and I hope he keeps it up."

Duclair and Domi each has eight goals, tied with Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings for the rookie lead.

Anaheim kept up the pressure after Duclair's second goal and cashed in on a Nicklas Grossmann penalty to cut the lead again. Vatanen raced around Arizona's Zbynek Michalek and put a sharp-angled shot up high and past Smith at 7:47 for his fifth goal.

Vermette closed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:06 left.

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