Ten different Ducks ended up on the scoresheet, as they finally earned a second win under Bruce Boudreau and (for now) climbed out of the basement of the Western Conference with a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. The loss for Phoenix extends its losing streak to three games and puts the Coyotes at 5-3-2 against Pacific Division opponents this year.
Coming into the match, the Coyotes lost four out of their last six games, with Mike Smith struggling as well after both started the year so well. Twice already, however, the Coyotes defeated the Ducks this season, and Smith had a 5-0-1 record against Anaheim with a 2.00 goals against average. With the Ducks still failing to find a second victory with Boudreau, this seemed like the type of game Phoenix could use to get back on track.
Yet, as Jonas Hiller remained sharp all night, the Ducks continued to win battles in the offensive zone and learned to regroup when the momentum was no longer in their control, ultimately earning them the win. It also helped to have offensive-defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky back in the lineup with an assist on the first goal after missing 13 games with a broken finger.
After new addition Rod Pelley scored in the first period and Niklas Hagman scored on the power play early in the second, Martin Hanzal took advantage of the Coyotes' own power play opportunity, scoring on Phoenix's first shot of the second period. With the lead cut in half and Phoenix earning more chances, normally one could expect Anaheim to give up yet another lead.
The Ducks regained the momentum, though, and gave themselves a huge boost as Hagman made a great play with 1:04 left in the period to get from behind the net in time for the pass from Corey Perry to put away his second goal of the night:
Anaheim topped off the victory 3:30 into the final period with a goal from Kyle Palmieri and held the three-goal lead for the 4-1 win -- just in time for their five-game road trip featuring three other division opponents.
Time to gain ground for the Ducks? I think so.