It's been a challenging week for the Phoenix Coyotes with losses at home to Chicago and Los Angeles, two of the best teams in the league this year. A very brief one game road trip to Anaheim was perhaps exactly what the Desert Dogs needed to get back on track. Certainly the offense seemed to respond as the Coyotes matched their best offensive output of the season with 5 goals and saw first goals of the year from Martin Hanzal, Boyd Gordon and Keith Yandle.
Hanzal actually recorded two goals for the Coyotes and came awfully close to tallying his second career hat trick in the third, but hit the post. Lauri Korpikoski had a solid game and scored the Coyotes other goal. On the other end, Mike Smith was strong in net making some impressive saves, but was beaten 4 times by the Ducks as well, although many of the goals were deflections that left him little opportunity to make a play.
The Coyotes had a typically tough time with the Ducks' top unit of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry. I would feel worse about this if they weren't one of the best lines in all of hockey. Teemu Selanne also continued his history of playing fabulous against the Coyotes.
Andy Miele got action in his first NHL game centering a line for Raffi Torres and Patrick O'Sullivan and didn't look too bad out there. He didn't record a point and was rubbed out of a few plays, but overall you could tell that it is just a matter of time before things click for him. We will see if Tippett keeps that unit together in the next few games.
Bullet Point Notes From Game
- Goalies for tonight are Mike Smith and Jonas Hiller - Coyotes haven't scored a goal in over 90 minutes and need to get on the board early tonight.
- Coyotes do just that as a little under 5 minutes in, Mikkel Boedker makes a great move off the side boards to the front of the net and puts a close in shot off of Hiller and the rebound goes right to Martin Hanzal who puts it in a wide-open net. 1-0 Coyotes!
- As the Ducks attempt to bring pressure on the next shift, Smith stands tall in net and prevents all opportunities.
- Ducks' top line answers back as Corey Perry takes the puck around the back of the net and feeds it out to Lubomir Visnovsky who absolutely destroys a one timer high stick side to tie the game at 1.
- Coyotes get the first power play opportunity of the game as Maxime Macenauer goes off for holding.
- Lots of good puck control as the Coyotes move Dyamond Langkow to the top unit and Shane Doan has a few good blasts from the point to no avail. Andy Miele and Patrick O'Sullivan get some second unit ice time with Martin Hanzal as well which is a welcome change to the power play units in my view.
- Right after the kill, the Ducks take advantage of a Coyotes turnover and a shot from Teemu Selanne is deflected by Bobby Ryan past Mike Smith. 2-1 Ducks...
- Coyotes answer right back as a long shot from the left side goes through Hiller's arm and body for Hanzal's second goal of the game. 2-2!
- The Hanzal-Boedker-Radim Vrbata unit continues its strong play with some more great opportunities.
- Hanzal takes a delay of game penalty with just over a minute left in the period and kill the first half cleanly with Lauri Korpikoski making a huge block.
- Through one period, Coyotes lead in shots 10-9.
- Coyotes complete the penalty kill to start the second period without too much pressure from Anaheim.
- After a great save by Mike Smith, the Coyotes come back down the ice and work a great offensive zone play between Korpikoski, Pyatt and a shot from Boyd Gordon goes off of Hiller and in. 3-2 Coyotes!
- A bad turnover by the Ducks and the Korpedo puts a shot through Hiller's 5-hole just 100 seconds later. 4-2 Coyotes!
- Coyotes keep the pressure coming as a good keep in by Langkow leads to a feed to Ray Whitney and a blocked shot by Shane Doan deflects to a wide open Keith Yandle who buries it in the empty net. 5-2 Coyotes!
- And that will be all for Hiller as we have Dan Ellis coming on in relief. Coyotes continue to bring the pressure, but Ellis is standing strong on the first few shots.
- Coyotes go back on the PK as Hanzal goes back to the box on a hooking call.
- Ducks can't score on the power play, but as it ends Kurtis Foster scores from a very similar location that Visnovsky scores from earlier. Lots of traffic in front of Smith and he has no shot. 5-3 Coyotes.
- Coyotes get a break as Selanne can't bury it into the open net and hits the outside off of a rebound.
- A very strong period for the Coyotes (at least the first half), and the Coyotes will go into the third with a two goal lead. Coyotes lead in shots 23-22.
- Another penalty on Macenauer sends the Coyotes to their second power play as we start the third.
- A very good power play, but the Coyotes can't beat Ellis. Andy Miele then takes his first ever NHL penalty, but the Ducks can't convert either.
- Smith with the save of the season thus far as he absolutely robs Bobby Ryan on a play right in front of the net.
- With three and a half minutes left, Oliver Ekman-Larsson takes a delay of game penalty and the Coyotes have a HUGE kill coming with a two goal lead.
- With the empty net, Ryan Getzlaf scores with just over a minute to go, and it's a one goal game. 5-4 Coyotes.
- And the Coyotes endure a ton of pressure at the end of the game to hold on for the win. Not the best job finishing with your foot on the gas, but it's a big game to get back in the win column.
Our Three Stars
1. Martin Hanzal - 2 goals scored and good defensive play all night.
2. Boyd Gordon - had a good goal and his line with Pyatt and Korps was a strong force for the Coyotes.
3. Keith Yandle - first goal of the season and added an assist as well. Probably his best game this season.
Comment of the Night
The Dallas Stars make their way to Glendale on Tuesday night for the teams' second match-up of the year. The Coyotes lost the first game in a shootout although probably deserved a better result giving up the game tying goal with less than a minute to play. Dallas has played well and leads the Pacific Division with 12 points and a 6-2-0 record.