No Getzlaf, No Ritchie, No Worries. Even though it was always a given that on paper this team should ultimately triumph over the desert dwellers - this team always seems to *ahem* excrement the abode when facing the Coyotes of late. So it was a pleasant surprise to see them completely dominate but at the same time - unsurprising given that this was the first game following an embarrassing loss.
The first period saw the Ducks set the tone early - using speed and pressure to keep the Coyotes at bay whilst quickly mounting an almost cruel shot differential of 22 to 3 at one point. Just before midway through the first Andrew Cogliano drew an interference penalty on Alex Goligoski and the Ducks scored on the powerplay shortly after when Corey Perry channeled his inner Getzlaf and dished to a wide open .. Kevin Bieska? Who promptly wired it past Louis Domingue and then celebrated by lifting Rickard Rakell like a child- did anyone else notice that? Two minutes later Ricky factored again as he sped in with Corey Perry on a 2 on 1. Perry once again surprised everyone by electing to pass and Rakell wasted no time in beating Domingue. With five minutes left Kesler took a run at rookie Jakob Chychrun for which Max Domi decided to challenge him on and caught him with a quick upper cut. Kesler immediately went off looking slightly sheepish and under support from Bieska. In the last minute, Antoine Vermette intercepted an outlet pass and immediately fed Jakob Silfverberg in front who deftly backhanded a high shot over the glove of a very stunned Domingue.
The Second period began with a goaltending change from the Coyotes - even though Domingue had no chance on any of the goals he let in. Justin Peters took the crease and didn’t see a shot until the 7 minute mark when Ricky snapped one from the left face off dot. Six minutes later Ondrej Kase got his first NHL point when his blocked shot fell back to Vermette who hammered it home from near the blue line. Alas the Gibson shutout bid was broken by our old pal Jamie McGinn when Fowler and Manson got caught high and McGinn was able to take advantage of a 2 on 1 by getting his own rebound off of an amazing Gibson save on a cross crease one-timer. So not your atypical Ducks dominating or anti-dominating second period but a happy in-between.
Not a hell of a lot happened in the third - Carlyle was able to rotate all four lines equally and both teams seemed to go through the motions until Ricky was credited with another goal when he appeared to get to a loose puck and poke it under Peters left pad into the goal - the Coyotes requested a review for goaltender interference but that didn’t fly given he didn’t impede Peters from making the save. In my opinion it probably shouldn’t have counted as from the replays it totally looked like he pushed the pad and the puck in. Arizona seemed to get a tad upset after that and their defense willfully committed penalties without incident. Conor Murphy caught Silfverberg up high away from the play which lead to Silfverberg dropping his stick and heading straight to the bench. No call on the play and although the Boll line came on after - no retribution. Surprising for a Carlyle coached team. Maybe really is the new Carlyle?
Anaheim continues the home stand against the visiting Flames on Sunday. They will be seeing the Ducks on a back to back with the Kings and just beat the Sharks. Here is hoping the Ducks kick this annoying Jekyl and Hyde identity crisis by then.