Tonight the Phoenix Coyotes shutout the Anaheim Ducks with a final score of 4-0. It truly was a historic game, Ray Whitney, The Wizard, got his 1,000th career point and then 40 seconds later he scored a goal getting his 1,001 career point. Besides being an important night for Ray Whitney, and Mike Smith who got his 7th season shut out, this was a big night for the team. The Yotes now have 91 points, they are in 7th place and are tied with the LA Kings for the division lead. Its also important to note that this is the first time that the Coyotes have beat the Ducks since they underwent a coaching change in late November last year.
The Yotes did not come out as strong as they would like, but thanks to Mike Smith being a wall they were able to prevent the Ducks from getting on the board stopping all of their 21 first period goals. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was called early for hooking and it proved to be the best thing for the Coyotes. After getting out the box OEL was in a perfect position to pick up the puck who scored first. Antoine Vermette redirected a puck off a shot from Derek Morris halfway through the third period and then the moment we were all waiting for, Ray Whitney passed a puck beautifully to Radim Vrbata getting him point number 1,000. Despite a pretty weak first the Coyotes were amazing during the game, they got three power play goals and were perfect during a penalty filled game.
Notes From The Game
- With the Ducks playing back to back games they decided to start their back up goalie Jeff Deslauriers in order to save Jonas Hiller for their final home game of the season. It may not have been the best move.
- Mike Smith is tested in the first period by having to stop the Ducks first period 21 shots. Smitty is definitely in playoff mode right now.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson taking a high sticking may have saved a goal, and when he came out of the box he was in absolutely perfect position to get the first goal of the game.
- Martin Hanzal gets tripped getting the puck to Ray Whitney, who had a great look. Derek Morris is not afraid to shoot the puck and it leads to a power play goal. Whatever the power play units have been doing they need to keep doing it.
- The Ducks take a too many men on the ice penalty and they look like they may kill the penalty until Corey Perry decides to get stupid. After getting slashed by Gilbert Brule, Perry gets instigator and fighting penalties and a misconduct for going after Brule giving the Coyotes a brief 5 on 3. Brule did not win the fight, but the Coyotes won the exchange getting two goals during the power plays.
- Klesla's play in the third is just incredibly. Despite being up by four he still sacrifices his body to block the pucks and was so important in getting Smitty his shut out.
- In the past 2 games the Coyotes have had 5 power plays and they have scored 4 power plays which is just amazing.
According to Sports Club Stats the Coyotes now have a 93.1% chance of making the playoffs, which is good, but there is still 3 games left to play, including two against teams we haven't won against this season. The Yotes are in a good position but they can't let up yet.