Tonight, the Phoenix Coyotes played against the Anaheim Ducks in the first of three consecutive games against the Ducks. Anaheim played last night so the Coyotes had that advantage going into the game.
The first period started off poorly for the Yotes when the Ducks scored less than a minute into the game. Andrew Cogiliano scored from the slot when the Yotes lost a board battle and he was open to start the scoring. The Coyotes did bounce back with a goal of their own at 10:30 into the first when Matthew Lombardi put in a rebound off of Fasth and in. The goal came right after the Yotes killed a power play from Anaheim in which the Ducks had the Yotes dead to rights. It was a crucial kill that lead to a goal. Props to the PK unit for bending but not breaking.
The second period continued the madness with the Coyotes and Ducks going wild. Lauri Korpikoski scored at 12:32 off a wrist shot to give the Coyotes a lead. Fasth would probably want to have that goal back. Not to be outdone, Cogiliano struck with a wrist shot of his own just a little over thirty seconds later on a goal the Smith would like to have back. Right after that goal, Smith made a tremendous save with his skate. It will end up on the saves of the week and most likely in the top ten for the year. Sometimes it is funny to see a goalie miss a save that they should normally make then make a save they had no business getting close to. However, Cogliano decided to get another hat trick against the Coyotes when he struck for his third of the night at 17:26 in the period to give the Ducks the lead again going into the third. He seems to like to score his hat tricks against the Yotes in his career.
The third period ramped up the excitement right off the bat. Sixteen seconds into the period Lauri Korpikoski put a pass from Vermette right into the goal for his second of the night. It was a very important goal early in the period that probably gave the Yotes a huge wave of momentum. In fact, they looked to be on the verge of potting another until a call on Kyle Chipchura for goaltender interference. It was a bit of an iffy call with the contact from Cogliano pushing Chipchura in… however, it was a close call that could have gone either way. The Ducks took advantage and scored a goal on the ensuing power play. Saku Koivu got a quick shot off on Smith that squeaked right in to give the Ducks the lead again at 6:25 of the period. As the period went on, the pressure was put on by the Coyotes and I feel that the Ducks lost a lot of steam since they played the night before. Eventually, the pressure got to be too much and Steve Sullivan scored at 13:31 of the period for his 5th of the season. It was a huge goal to get for this team. For the Coyotes, this series against the Ducks could really make or break their season. The period wore on with several non calls from the officials that many Phoenix fans did not enjoy. I will stay away from really commenting on them, it’s a no win situation. The Ducks held on to force overtime.
In OT, the game was very back and forth until a penalty was called on Vermette for Holding. Once again, the fans were livid and it looked like it wasn’t in the cards for the Yotes. However, the PK unit pulled magic out of its hat again and managed to bend but not break. An interesting note was that during OT while passing by the net Bobby Ryan gave Mike Smith a slash on the back of the pads and after OT ended both teams were getting really chippy and in each other’s faces.
The shootout was intense as well. Both goalies stopped the first shot. Anaheim’s bench seemed to chirp Boedker after his first round miss on his attempt, leading to more intensity. However, Steve Sullivan would hear nothing from the Anaheim bench after putting his second round shot through Fasth’s five-hole for the lead, a lead that Mike Smith held up for the victory.
Overall, the Coyotes still have made some mistakes that could have cost them the points they got tonight. Once again, they were not where they needed to be in the slot in the defensive zone. However, they showed resiliency and battled back with timely goals from some players that NEED to get going. If Anaheim had not played last night, I can’t say that the result would have been so favorable for the Coyotes. I can’t wait to see the next two games from these teams though. See you all on Monday!!