Few probably would've had it with the Coyotes as the division leader.
Arizona continued their surprising season opening form as Anthony Duclair scored his first NHL hat trick in the Coyotes 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night at Honda Center.
"(Martin Hanzal) and Tobias Rieder have been great since the start of the season, I hope we build some good chemistry together," Duclair said to Julie Stewart-Binks on the Prime Ticket broadcast. "We like to use our speed and our skill and use it to our advantage"
Starter Anton Khudobin was chased 12:53 into action after making just five saves, as Arizona scored three times on their first eight shots. Duclair scored the first 3:16 in to the game ripping a five-hole shot home off a feed from Hanzal, and doubled the edge following a Max Domi rebound on the power play to tuck it home to the stick side. Domi ended Khudobin's evening with a wicked backhander high to the glove side, rampaging down the slot.
Duclair completed his hat trick with a wicked wrist shot from the hashes of the near slot, snapping it over the blocker of Frederik Andersen during the second period. Hanzal led the Coyotes with three assists, getting a helper on each of Duclair's goals, while Domi had a goal and an assist.
The Ducks offensive struggles were further exacerbated by Coyote goalie Mike Smith, who came in to the night having allowed just one goal in each of his first two games while making 67 saves. Fresh off a 'Three Stars of the Week' selection by NHL.com, Smith made 37 stops to pick up his third win of the year and first shutout. Anaheim outshot Arizona 37-29, and out-attempted the Coyotes 39-34 at even strength, but couldn't consistently generate quality pressure against the visiting netminder.
With the offense struggling, Boudreau turned to the line blender again moving Patrick Maroon to the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, while Chris Stewart saw some time with Rickard Rakell and Jiri Sekac. Ricky-Stewie-Cakes was the best grouping of forwards in differential of shot attempts at five-on-five, each at better than +3 while the defense pair of Hampus Lindholm and Kevin Bieksa topped the team with +7 and +6 differentials.
Anaheim has tied a franchise worst for scoring through three games with just the one Sami Vatanen goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the home opener. In 1998-98 the Mighty Ducks opened with just one goal in their first three games, getting shut out at Washington and Montreal, sandwiching a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia.