There is really not much positive that I can write about this "contest" between the Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks because it was ugly. I suppose Ray Whitney's move to set up the Daymond Langkow goal was pretty sweet and Kyle Chipchura scored his first goal since April 2010. And I thought the Gilbert Brule, Taylor Pyatt and Mikkel Boedker line played pretty well even if they didn't find the scoresheet. That's it...all I got.
The Ducks didn't get a ton from their top 6 as I generally expect them to, but Francois Beauchemin, Andrew Cogliano, Jason Blake, Lubomir Visnovksy and Nick Bonino each had multi-point nights and the Coyotes simply had few answers for the onslaught from Anaheim. Mike Smith looked like he was hung out to dry a few times, but however you slice it 6 goals on 21 shots just won't cut it. The good news is that they get to get right back in the saddle tomorrow night.
Bullet Point Notes From the Game:
- Paul Bissonnette a healthy scratch again which is a bit surprising considering how physical the Ducks tend to play.
- Starting goalies are Mike Smith and Jonas Hiller as expected.
- Early power play for the Coyotes as Saku Koivu sits just over a minute in on a high sticking penalty.
- Luca Sbisa saves a goal at the end of the man advantage as a Gilbert Brule shot deflects off of Hiller and hits the post and is sitting in the crease, but Mikkel Boedker is stopped from getting there by Sbisa's stick check.
- A Derek Morris point shot is blocked by Matt Beleskey and he rushes in on a breakaway that Smith is able to turn aside.
- Kyle Chipchura gets his first ever goal as a Phoenix Coyote against his former squad on a rebound effort from a Raffi Torres shot. 1-0 Coyotes!
- The lead is short lived as Niklas Hagman (noted Coyote killer) deflects a shot from the point by Lubomir Visnovsky (noted Coyote killer) off a Teemu Selanne feed (noted Coyote killer)...I see a theme here. 1-1.
- Shane Doan heads to the box on a holding penalty and the PK unit gets the first opportunity of the game.
- On the power play Francois Beauchemin gives the Ducks a lead with a rebound shot after Smith cannot corral a point shot from Visnovsky. 2-1 Ducks....
- Coyotes head back to the power play as they take a too many men on the ice penalty.
- Some good puck movement leaves Radim Vrbata with a shot from the circle that he rings off the post behind Hiller. The power play will continue for about a minute into the second period.
- Coyotes lead in shots after 20 minutes, 13-11; have won 9 of 15 faceoffs as well.
- Coyotes can't get much going on the abbreviated power play time to start the second.
- An overskate by Oliver Ekman-Larsson allows the Ducks to come in and Jason Blake streaks alone at Smith who denies the opportunity.
- Smith launches a touchdown pass to Doan entering the offensive zone who fires a pass across off of Torres' stick that pops up, hits HIller and goes wide of the net.
- A blast by Derek Morris from just inside the blue line seems to stun Hiller when it hits him in the shoulder and he covers up while sliding towards the corner.
- An outlet chip by Doan finds Ray Whitney driving hard into the right corner and he cuts around a diving Visnovsky towards the net and finds Daymond Langkow coming alone into the slot and Langkow buries one high stick side on Hiller to tie it up! 2-2.
- Ryan Getzlaf lights up Taylor Pyatt trying to go towards the net with a hit that might have come up high, but was probably clean. After icing the puck, the Ducks take their timeout.
- Vrbata loses Beauchemin as he makes a drive to the net and Andrew Cogliano hits him with a perfect feed that he one times over Smith to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead.
- Tic-tac-toe passing on an odd man rush and Jason Blake puts it in while basically standing in the crease. It's not quite the last minute of the second, but it is just six seconds away. 4-2 Ducks.
- Coyotes outshoot the Ducks 6-4 in the second period, but Ducks outscore Coyotes 2-1...Smith has allowed 4 goals on just 14 shots...not good.
- Coyotes can't get the puck out and George Parros finds Matt Beleskey in the high slot and he blasts a wrist shot past Smith. 5-2 Ducks.
- Doan, Whitney and Langkow create a fairly good opportunity, but Langkow can't get enough on the backhand chance to beat Hiller.
- Corey Perry takes a tripping penalty in his own offensive zone. Coyotes try and convert for the first time of the night with just under 13 minutes to play.
- DMo jumps into the play and gets one through Hiller, but Sheldon Brookbank comes across and clears it out of the crease before it can roll into the net. The only really good opportunity on the power play.
- Parros takes a tripping penalty and the Coyotes have one final hope, maybe, to get back in the game in the final four plus minutes.
- OEL doesn't get the puck in deep on the zone entry and it is chipped into the neutral zone to a charging Corey Perry who beats Smith on the breakaway for a shorthanded goal. 6-2 Ducks.
- And that's it, 6 goals on just 21 shots for the Ducks...
Five For Winning
1. Play With Jam: For those that watched 24/7, this was Peter Laviolette's rallying cry to his team to get them to play with emotion and outwork their opponent. We saw it against Colorado, will we see it continue against the Ducks? In flashes, yes, particularly at the beginning of the game. But they allowed the third and fourth lines for the Ducks to control the play and didn't get the puck out of their defensive zone enough.
2. Control the Top 6: The Getzlaf and Koivu lines are really all that Anaheim generally throws at the opposition - if you keep them in check, then usually you will win. They actually did an ok job on this, with the lone goal coming from this unit the Perry shorty. Selanne did get yet another point, of course.
3. Play Below the Blue Line: As with Colorado, Anaheim's weakness is in their own end; make them play the game in their defensive end with a strong forecheck and cycle and you should have success. No, they did not...at all.
4. Keep the Hot Hand: Smith has looked very strong out there and despite the back-to-back games, I think he should be back in the cage for the 'Yotes tonight. Smith was back in the cage, but he wasn't nearly as sharp as we've seen recently. Hope his head wasn't already focusing on the Wings because if that is the case then Jason LaBarbera definitely should have gotten this start.
5. Special Teams Prowess: Neither of these teams is setting the league on fire with their special teams, but the Coyotes have seen a lot of success when their power play is clicking. They looked good against Colorado and with a team that is fairly undisciplined in Anaheim, they will need to exploit those opportunities. Give up a power play goal and a shorthanded goal while not scoring a power play goal in 4 chances. Not winning.
1. Francois Beauchemin - pair of goals, beauty of a pass on the Perry shorty.
2. Lubomir Visnovsky - when it looked like the coyotes were going to control this game from the onset, he got the Ducks back in it and taking over the game.
3. Jason Blake - scored the dagger goal after the Coyotes fought hard to tie it at 2; all of a sudden the Ducks had a 2 goal lead and the Coyotes never seemed to get back into it.
Comment of the Night
Everyone's favorite squad is coming back to Glendale tomorrow night as the Coyotes will host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00. Expect the typical hostilities in the seats and hopefully we will see the team that beat the crap out of the Avs as opposed to the team that really stunk up the joint in Columbus and Anaheim.