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Shootout Gives Ducks Sixth Straight Victory, 3-2 Over Phoenix

The Ducks made it to overtime by the skin of their teeth and prevailed in their first shootout of the season. But it wouldn't have gone that far if it wasn't for the god awful power play.

Mike Smith swimming like Pi Patel.
Mike Smith swimming like Pi Patel.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score: Ducks 3, Coyotes 2 (Shootout)

First Period Recap: The opening period was similar to Wednesday night, in that it wasn't an all out blitz by the Ducks, but they did end up drawing first blood.  Teemu Selanne scored six and a half minutes in, after the Coyotes won a defensive zone faceoff, but couldn't clear the puck and Mathieu Perreault found the Finnish Flash WIDE OPEN in front of Mike Smith.  The Phoenix goalie got a piece of the puck but it trickled over the line to make it 1-0 against the run of play.

Anaheim was able to even out the play for the rest of the period (shots ended up 11-12 for Phoenix).  But their best chance that didn't go in was a near breakaway by Daniel Winnik.  The first of several times that Winnik was able to receive a pass right up the middle of the ice, he appeared to have plenty of space away from David Schlemko, but the D-man made a very nice stick-on-puck play to swat it out of danger.

One obscure play came when Rostislav Klesla hauled Kyle Palmieri down in the neutral zone, but on the delayed penalty Francois Beauchemin took a high sticking minor against Klesla.  i'd like to think that this was Beauch's way of declining the penalty, based on how terrible the power play has been, but somehow I doubt it.

The Ducks did go on their first man advantage of the night at the end of the period when Keith Yandle went off for a high sticking double minor against Winnik.  They had one decent chance before the period ended with Ryan Getzlaf driving the puck to the net from the corner, but unsurprisingly did not convert.

Second Period Recap: Anaheim started the second with just under three minutes of power play time.  it took about a minute and a half to get set up, but once they did they had four or five shots from dangerous areas.  That's about all we can ask of this unit, so far.

About nine minutes in, Sami Vatanen got his stick caught in the skate of Rob Klinkhammer (sweet name) behind Jonas Hiller and was sent off for tripping.  The Ducks were able to kill the penalty, but six seconds after Vatanen returned to the ice Antoine Vermette deflected a shot/pass from Yandle past Hiller at a razor sharp angle to tie the game at one.

Toward the end of the period the Coyotes got a lucky bounce when Beauch rimmed the puck around for Hampus Lindholm, but it deflected off of his stick and/or skate directly to Shane Doan in the slot, but Hiller made the save to keep it tied.

The Ducks had their best chance of the period since the double minor ended with just over two minutes remaining.  Vatanen zipped one from the top of the circles and the puck sat up for Teemu right in front.  Unfortunately he had to reach for it, couldn't get much on it and hung his head in shame as Smith made the save.

Third Period Recap: Right off the bat in the third Corey Perry had a golden opportunity off of a Ben Lovejoy rebound.  Mike Smith made a great pad save on Perry's first whack at it and incredibly got just enough of his blocker on the second opportunity to send it into the netting and out of play.

The Ducks would find themselves trailing in the third period for the first time since opening night after Klesla's point shot grazed Bryan Allen's knee and got past Hiller.  The puck didn't change direction much, but it was a poor, reaching attempt at a shot block by Allen that he should have just let Hiller see.

The Ducks got caught on a slightly strange, but pretty obvious too many men on the ice penalty.  Jacob Silfverberg made a clean change to come on the ice and receive a pass right in front of the bench.  Just as the puck hit his tape, Teemu hit the ice and bolted for open space.  The problem was that Teemu's guy was a good 10-15 feet away from the bench.  Getzlaf and Teemu were pretty upset about the call (as usual) because Silfverberg wasn't the extra man, but any play that close to the bench with six skaters and a goalie on the ice is going to get called.

During the kill, Andrew Cogliano took another iffy, yet justified penalty when he slashed the stick of Radim Verbata in half.  The Ducks were able to kill the first penalty and Winnik almost sprung Silfverberg on a breakaway fresh out of the box, but the Silfver Surfer was pressured to the boards and coudln't get a quality chance.

Upon killing Cogliano's penalty, he too was nearly sprung on a breakaway.  While he did get the puck to the net, the defensive backchecking was just enough so that he wasn't able to really get a shot away or make a move.

Anaheim had a chance to get back to even on the power play, but just like Teemu said yesterday, it wasn't pretty. After that it looked like the Coyotes would be able to hold on for the win.  Not if Nick Bonino had anything to say about it though.

With over two minutes left, the Ducks were finally able to put some pressure on the Phoenix D in the zone.  Bonino held the line on a failed Coyotes clearing attempt and lobbed a fluttering puck ever so gently toward the net.  Luckily, noted large human, Dustin Penner was in front of Smith and attempted to head it past Smith soccer-style, but missed and somehow it ended up in the back of the net.  As fluky as it was, the crowd went completely nuts for the last minute comeback.

For just about the rest of regulation, the Coyotes had solid offensive zone possession, but the Ducks held on to get into overtime.

Overtime Recap: OT was largely uneventful.  The Ducks' best chance came right at the end of the extra session when Cam Fowler got a rebound and forced a backhander off of the left pad of Smith as the horn sounded.

Shootout Recap: Regardless of what you think of the shootout, (you can watch the whole thing here) there were some pretty great moments in this one.  Bonino's move on the first shot had Mike Smith sliding across his crease like a drunk penguin on a tilting iceberg.  Mike Ribeiro's goal was just infuriatingly fithy.  It's hard to believe that a crowd that size could create such a din as when Teemu stepped on the ice for his opportunity, much less the cacophony when they announced his name and the eruption when he scored.  Unfortunately it didn't stand up as the game winner, Jacob Silfverberg's laser beam of a wrister from the hash marks in the next round had to suffice.


The Good:

The Bad: For some reason there seemed to be a lot of Ducks players leaving their feet to block shots and passes, but the Coyotes were patient enough to wait them out on most occasions.  Just a strange note that didn't belong anywhere else.

The Ugly: Do I even need to say it?  0-for-4, bringing the PP to a criminally low 3.7% on the season.


3rd MVD: Defensemen in front of the Ducks' crease - Jonas Hiller was good, not great.  He had some trouble with leaving juicy rebounds in the slot.  None of them came back to haunt him though, and very few even turned into second opportunities for the Coyotes because the Ducks were able to control and move the puck out of danger.  

2nd MVD: Nick Bonino - Bones was as lucky as he was good tonight with the game tying goal and a beauty of a move to open the shootout.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
-Wayne Gretzky
-Michael Scott

1st MVD: Teemu Selanne - Could have had two or three tonight, but ended up with his second goal in as many games, his 450th as a (Mighty) Duck.  The best part of the night was the ovation he got for the shootout though.  

Next Game: Sunday, October 20th vs. Dallas at 5PM.