So far the Phoenix Coyotes have had a stellar season and the five-game win streak leading up to tonight has played a big role in that success. However, playing division opponents hasn't exactly gone according to plan, especially when playing the Anaheim Ducks. Their first meeting ended in an overtime loss for the Coyotes. This time they weren't as fortunate, leaving the ice with a 5-2 loss to a strong division rival.
The first period started off a little shaky with a hard push by the Ducks in the opening two minutes, but the Coyotes quickly turned it around. A breakdown in the neutral zone lead to an Anaheim turnover. Oliver Ekman-Larsson got the puck to Mike Ribeiro who sent it further down the ice to an already moving Shane Doan. A two-on-one turned into a breakaway and Captain Coyote drew first blood.
The next ten minutes featured good efforts by both sides but a rough turnover by Doan lead to a nasty little play and a goal by Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm, tying the game at one. The last five minutes were dominated by the Ducks with four shots to the Phoenix's one.
Coming into the second, the Desert Dogs looked much better than their first period finish. Two minutes in, Brendan Allen tripped David Moss leading to the Coyotes' first power play. Though it was ultimately fruitless, the two minute minor set the tone for what was to come. Eleven minutes in the Coyotes returned to the powerplay on a tripping call that sent Corey Perry to the box. A failed clearing attempt by Ryan Getzlaf kept the puck in the zone allowing the Coyotes to retake the lead as Michael Stone roofed the puck.
Less than a minute after the go-ahead goal, Phoenix returned to the powerplay but it was cut short as OEL was sent to the box for tripping, followed by Keith Yandle interference penalty, giving the Ducks a four-on-three power play that turned into a five on three. Getzlaf sent the puck to the net making the game 2-2. But, the scoring wasn't over. With just seconds left in the period, Corey Perry deflected a shot from Lindholm giving Anaheim a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
The start of the third showed some improvement but in the end it wasn't enough. David Rundblad took a two minute time out for slashing, Cam Fowler scored right off the faceoff two seconds into the power play making the game 4-2. Another penalty on Ekman-Larsson kept the Coyotes on the defensive for the rest of the period. Even pulling Mike Smith wasn't enough as Andrew Cogliano scored an empty net goal finishing the game at 5-2 and ending the Coyotes five game win streak.
- Radim Vrbata left the game part way through the second period with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Even though he left early he was responsible for three shots on goal, more than any other player on the team.
- Numbers wise, the game was a fairly even match. Hits, blocked shots and faceoff wins were almost even. Anaheim just used them more effectively.
- Anaheim, before this game, had the 30th ranked power play in the NHL. Yet, the Coyotes allowed two power play goals, the most they've allowed in one game since their ill-fated trip to see the New York Islanders.
- This also marks the seventh straight game where the Coyotes have been outshot by their opponent, the last time they had more was Oct. 22 against the Calgary Flames.
Our Three Stars
1. Hampus Lindholm- The NHL rookie scored his first career goal and had an assist on the night.
2. Ryan Getzlaf- A goal and an assist, that assist coming on the power play off a faceoff win, where he was 75%.
3. Michael Stone- With a goal, two hits and four blocked shots Stone was truly playing 'Coyote Hockey'.
This Saturday the Coyotes will be taking on Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Jobing.Com Arena. There will be tailgating in the parking lot and remember it will be Mike Smith bobblehead night for the first 10,000 fans in attendance. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and heard on KMVP 860AM.