ANAHEIM, Calif. – Randy Carlyle would prefer that the Anaheim Ducks stop making games so eventful. So too would his fingernails.
Corey Perry deflected Ryan Getzlaf’s centring feed past Jason LaBarbera with 5:37 left, and Jonas Hiller made 36 saves in the Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday night.
“I don’t have any cuticles left, that’s how hairy it got,” the Anaheim coach said. “Wins (have) been at a premium for us, so we’re going to take the win.”
Cam Fowler scored his first NHL goal, Toni Lydman also scored, Perry added an assist, and Bobby Ryan had a career-best three assists to help Anaheim improve to 2-3-1 entering a four-game trip.
The Ducks rebounded from a 5-4 shootout loss to Atlanta on Friday night in which they failed to protect a two-goal lead by surrendering a pair of power-play goals in the third period.
“It shows we’re gritty I guess, but we make it interesting,” Perry said. “We need to find a way to not make it a (close) game, we need to put it out of reach.”
They also had a two-goal edge against the Coyotes, but made things interesting by giving up goals to Scottie Upshall and Eric Belanger in the third.
Perry corrected things with his winning finish. It was his second goal and fifth point in the past two contests.
“We did a lot of good things in the game to get ourselves a two-goal lead,” Carlyle said. “But we can’t slip in third period like that.”
The Coyotes, coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to Detroit at home Saturday night, dropped to 1-2-1.
“We need to find ways to win,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. “We’re going to be a team that has to win one-goal games, and so far we’ve lost two.”
Fowler opened the scoring early in the second period, firing a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that hit the far post and careened in. The 18-year-old defenceman, playing his sixth game after being drafted 12th overall this year, left minutes later after taking a blow to the head.
Fowler had to be helped off the ice when he went crashing down and his head was pinned between the boards and Doan’s knee. No penalty was called on the play and Fowler was evaluated in the locker room and ruled out a short time later.
“I tried to stop him from getting to the net and I hit him and he fell,” Doan said. “He was kind of going down trying to drive around me, I think. It’s just one of those things.”
Carlyle said Fowler had a cut on the bridge of his nose but managed to avoid serious injury.
The Ducks padded the advantage in the second when Lydman took a pass through the crease from Ryan and beat LaBarbera.
Hiller turned in his third straight strong showing and has stopped 101-of-110 shots while going unbeaten in that span. Following the two tallies, he turned away 15 shots down the stretch to preserve victory.
“It was huge to get back in the win column and have this feeling going on the road,” Perry said.
NOTES: The Ducks are 14-5-2 against the Coyotes in their last 21 meetings at the Honda Center. … LaBarbera made 32 saves in his first appearance of the season.