By Randy Gonzalez
The Arizona Coyotes (4-6-0) came into town winners of their last two games to face the Anaheim Ducks (4-5-2). The Ducks were without the services of captain Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie both out with upper body injuries. The Arizona Coyotes had three players scratched out of their line up Martin Hanzal, Michael Stone, and Laurent Dauphin.
From the drop of the puck the Ducks dominate possession early, getting great scoring chances and getting shots through to Domingue, seven minutes into the game shots were 8-1 Anaheim. The Coyotes got their first shot on goal 8 minutes into the contest. There was a scare when Sami Vatanen took a flailing stick to the head from one of the Coyotes players then immediately colliding with teammate Corey Perry; which would lead him to head to the locker room for a few minutes but later return to the game. Arizona would get the first penalty of the game for interference and with that, the Ducks would take advantage of the power play with Perry passing the puck to Bieksa to the point for a one-timer that got through Domingue at 9:05 for his first goal of the season. Halfway through the first period, shots were 9-2 in favor of Anaheim. The second goal came from freshly resigned Rickard Rakell who would score an even-strength goal at 12:11. Minutes before the end of the period Ryan Kesler checked Jakob Chychrun into the boards at center ice, Max Domi took exemption to this and they dropped the gloves but the fight ended quickly when Max Domi got an uppercut on the first punch that dropped Ryan Kesler and dazed him. He was helped off the ice by Bieksa and went to the locker room. Both were given five for fighting and Kesler got an additional two for roughing which was served by Ondrej Kase. On the Arizona power play, the Ducks repeatedly cleared the puck and got a couple of short-handed opportunities. In the closing minutes, Andrew Cogliano would steal the puck, pass to Vermette behind the net who then passed the puck to the crease to Silfverberg giving him clean backhanded shot for the third goal of the period. Shots after one period 21-4 in favor of Anaheim and the Ducks led 3-0.
The Coyotes start the period with a change in net, they brought in backup goaltender Justin Peters to replace Domingue who was getting no help from his defense. The Coyotes came out strong in the beginning of the period by keeping the puck in the Anaheim zone for most of the first five minutes of the period. Anaheim had to shuffle their lines around by moving Rakell to center to make up for the loss of Kesler who’s status was up in the air; however Kesler finally returned to the bench and immediately got back into the thick of things by getting into a scrum between both teams after Ryan Garbutt shot the puck towards the net after the whistle was blown for offsides in the Arizona zone; no penalties were called. Midway through the period Kevin Bieksa and Lawson Crouse finally had enough of each other as both dropped the gloves, however, no punches were thrown as the referees got between them. They both received coincidental minors, Bieksa for slashing and Crouse for cross checking. With a little less than six minutes to go in the period a pass between Antoine Vermette and Ondrej Kase takes an odd bounce giving the puck back to Vermette who then rips a slap shot past Peters for the fourth goal of the game giving Anaheim a 4-0 lead. The coyotes would finally get on the board with a goal from ex-Duck Jamie McGinn in the closing minutes of the second period. After two periods shots were 27-17 in favor of Anaheim. Arizona outshot Anaheim 13-6 in the second frame. The score after the second period 4-1 Anaheim.
The third started with both teams exchanging possession in each others zone for the first few minutes. The Ducks would go on a power play after Anthony Duclair takes a hooking penalty on Jakob Silfverberg. Seconds after the power play was over, a bad play by Alex Goligoski gives up the puck in front of his net and Rakell takes advantage by scoring six minutes into the period. Arizona challenged the call of goal by goaltender interference. The call was upheld and Arizona lost its timeout. In the ending minutes, Vermette took a puck to his foot from a blocked shot and was in some distress. Seconds later Silfverberg took a crosscheck to the face and also quickly skated back to the bench. Ducks cleared the zone for the last few minutes of the game keeping the Coyotes from getting any real chance to score and ended the game with a 5-1 victory. Final shots on goal, Arizona 22-Anaheim 33. Ducks face the Calgary Flames on Sunday with a 6:30pm start time at Honda Center.
3 Stars Of The Game
First star – A. Vermette (Goal, assist)
Second star – R. Rakell (2 Goals, assist)
Third star – C. Perry (2 Assist)
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