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Anaheim Ducks @ Phoenix Coyotes Postgame: Another Amazing Shutout

March 31, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Phoenix Coyotes acknowledge the fans after a game with the Anaheim Ducks in the third period at The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
March 31, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Phoenix Coyotes acknowledge the fans after a game with the Anaheim Ducks in the third period at The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

[Box Score] - [Game Page] - [Anaheim Calling's Reaction]

[Shift Charts] - [Head-to-Head TOI] - [Corsi and Fenwick] - [5-on-5 Faceoffs]

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.

Five For Winning

1. Score first. The Coyotes are definitely better when they aren't chasing the game, and they tend to win more games when they aren't waiting to come back in the third. They definitely did that, scoring early in the first.

2. Don't give up the lead. In 2 of the 3 losses to the Ducks this season the Yotes had the lead but they let Ducks come back and get their own lead. If the Coyotes manage to get the lead they can't give it up this time. Definitely did this.

3. Defense. During the Ducks wins they have scored on the Coyotes a lot, 14 times in 3 games to be exact. Defense is going to need to keep the Ducks away from the net and to the outside, force a few turnovers, clog up the neutral zone, and limit their own turnovers to keep the Ducks off the scoreboard. The Ducks were able to get a few more shots than we would like but the defense was amazing.

4. Special teams. The Ducks are pretty much right in the middle for special teams, 16th in power play 15th in penalty kill. A good power play goal can change the momentum of the game, the Coyotes power play unit is going to need to play like they did against the Sharks, and the PK is going to need to be in top form. 3 power play goals and preventing the Ducks from getting any power play goals during 19 minutes of Coyotes penalties.

5. Play to the crowd. Sure others may joke about our attendance but its Fan Appreciation Day, deep in a playoff race, you gotta figure there will be a lot of Coyotes fans there looking to cheer on the home team. Give them something to cheer about. A 4-0 game with the Wizard getting his 1,000th point definitely gave the fans something to cheer about.

Our Three Stars

1. Mike Smith. Smith was a wall just like against the Sharks. This was a memorable night for Whitney, but Smith was more instrumental in the victory.

2. Ray Whitney. Do we really need to talk about why he gets this one.

3. Rostislav Klesla. Klesla was absolutely amazing, he was blocking shots and at one point he looked like he was applying to be the backup goalie.

Honorable Mentions: OEL for his breakaway goal right out of the box, Radim Vrbata for his goal and his assist, Derek Morris being so crucial in the second goal.

Comment of the Night

I'm about to cry

This is too good hockey.

by KholdStare88

Game Highlights

Looking Forward

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.