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Phoenix Coyotes @ Anaheim Ducks recap: a goal too far

A buzzer beating comeback wasn't quite enough as the Coyotes fall to the Ducks in overtime.

Jeff Gross

Back-to-back games are never easy, especially when they are against division rivals and this game was no exception. Up to now the Phoenix Coyotes had yet to beat the Anaheim Ducks this season, and this game wasn't an exception, but at least they got a point as a buzzer beater brought them into overtime.

The first period started off strong with the Coyotes going on the power play just three minutes into the game as Bryan Allen went to the box for hooking.

After those two minutes, the Dogs had yet to put up even one shot with the man advantage. This power play set the tone for the rest of the period.

The ice remained heavily in the Ducks' favor. Even though the Coyotes were able to stop an Anaheim power play, they couldn't hold plays together long enough in Anaheim's zone before allowing the first goal of the game.

Near the end of the Coyotes' second power play, Saku Koivu found netting, giving the Duck's a short handed goal, only the third shortie to be scored against the Coyotes this season.

The second set of twenty had Yandle and crew back on the attack with seven shots to Anaheim's two. But, a scrum in front of Thomas Greiss with 13:24 left in the second put Yandle in the box and the Coyotes back on the penalty kill.

This was the most effective penalty kill of the night for the Yotes only allowing two shots during those important two minutes.

With near seven minutes left, Radim Vrbata went to the box for a dubious tripping call, up to this point the Coyotes had outshot the Ducks 10-9. It was a great period for the Coyotes and one that set the tone for a tough third.

Coming into the third, the Yotes found themselves 11 shots behind Anaheim's 30 but only needing one good shot to tie the tilt. However, things started to get dicey pretty fast.

Five minutes into the period, the Coyotes were not just scoreless, but they were without a shot while Anaheim had five.

Seconds later, Andrew Cogliano put the Ducks' sixth unanswered shot into the net giving Anaheim a two goal lead.

The first shot of the period for the Coyotes didn't come until 13:56 in the third period, but what mattered was the second shot.

At 15:26 Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller made a poor play behind the net giving Martin Hanzal an open net opportunity and an easy goal bringing the Coyotes within one. But, it was a buzzer beater that made it a game.

With Thomas Greiss at the bench and six men on the ice, Oliver Ekman-Larsson sent the puck to Keith Yandle who took a shot, deflected by Mike Ribeiro, past Hiller with just 44 seconds to spare sending the game into overtime.

Sadly for the Yotes, two goals just weren't enough as Koivu got his second of the night just 51 seconds in.

Paw Prints

  • Anaheim's perspective.
  • This is the third straight overtime loss for the Coyotes and is the longest streak since before the 2004-2005 lockout season.
  • The Coyotes had 23 hits to Anaheim's eight, three times as much.  Now that's a physical game.
  • Up until 13:56 of the third period the Coyotes had no shots on goal.  By the end of the period they were only two behind the Ducks at eight.
  • Keith Yandle had his twentieth assist of the season putting him in the lead position for the team and breaking his tie with Mike Ribeiro.

Our Three Stars of the Game

  1. Saku Koivu - Two goals including the game winner, it's hard not to put him in the top spot.
  2. Thomas Greiss - With 38 saves on 41 shots it's hard not to say that Greiss gave his best effort.
  3. Martin Hanzal - A goal, a plus-two rating, tied with Boedker and Yandle for shots on goal, and he's showing why he's been given an A.

Looking Ahead

New Year's Eve means tuxedos and hockey!  The Coyotes will be back at Arena for a 7 p.m. start against the division rival Edmonton Oilers.  Tuxedos will be provided to the first 10,000 at the doors, for everyone else it will be BYOT(uxedo).  The game will be aired on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on KTAR 92.3FM.