The advanced stats say the Arizona Coyotes are one of the unluckiest teams in the NHL. So it was about time some puck luck went in their favor.
After three shooters from each team failed to score in the shootout, Shane Doan gave it the 'ol college try. As he went to shoot, the blade of his stick snapped off. The broken stick's black blade soared through the air resembling a puck. In the meantime, the actual puck slowly slid across the ice and over the goal line, unbeknownst to Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 shootout win when Ryan Getzlaf failed to respond in kind.
If you think Saturday night's game was all about luck, think again. The Coyotes played one of their best games of the season, hanging stride for stride with the Pacific Division-best Ducks.
In a game that featured just two penalties total, each team relied on strong 5v5 play, and strong goaltending, to add to their point total. Each team was held off the scoresheet for the game's final 54:31
Devan Dubnyk and Andersen stole the show, stopping 35 and 28 shots respectively and allowing just one goal apiece. For Dubynk, it was his eight win of the season, two-thirds of the team's total.
No one would have guessed Saturday's game would have turned into a defensive struggle, given the way the contest's first 10+ minutes unfolded.
Anaheim opened the scoring on Rene Bourque's second goal of the season. A masterful set-up pass by Ryan Getzlaf found the winger in traffic, who muscled the puck into the net with Coyotes defenders draped all over him.
However, any "woe is me" mentality was nowhere to be found as Arizona potted the equalizer 1:13 later. Zbynek Michalek's shot wove through a myriad of players in front and past a screened Andersen. it was Michalek's first goal of the season, breaking a 39-game scoreless drought.
The Coyotes hung tough in the second period, but were in a bit of "just hold on" mode in the third period. Anaheim finished with a 36-29 shot advantage, going plus-nine in the third period.
Doan scored the only goal of the four-round shootout, hitting the back of the net on home ice for the first time this season. It was Arizona's first shootout win at home this season.
1. Devan Dubnyk - Stopped 35-of-36 shots and all four shootout attempts. More starts on the way?
2. Frederik Andersen - Anaheim's netminder deserves some love as well, after stopping 28-of-29 shots in 65 minutes.
3. Shane Doan - Well, duh.
The Coyotes will remain at home for a meeting with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.