ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Phoenix Coyotes forced the Anaheim Ducks into a number of critical mistakes which made all the difference in a one-goal win.
Martin Hanzal scored his first two goals of the season, Boyd Gordon and Lauri Korpikoski scored than two minutes apart in the second period, and the Coyotes beat their Pacific Division rivals 5-4 on Sunday night.
“We did a real good job of forechecking,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “We had a real mindset to push back, make sure we got in hard on the forecheck and create a couple of opportunities for ourselves.”
Korpikoski and defenceman Keith Yandle both had a goal and an assist, Taylor Pyatt had two assists, and Mike Smith made 29 saves for Phoenix to improve to 4-0-1 against Anaheim.
“We have to be a team that gets on the puck, and we can’t be sitting back,” captain Shane Doan said. “We count on every single line to contribute. It can’t be just one group. We don’t have the luxury of (Anaheim’s) Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan line. We have to have everyone going and everyone forechecking and creating things off the pressure.”
Ryan Getzlaf scored his first two goals of the season for the Ducks, who have dropped two in a row at home after a four-game winning streak. Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and an assist, and Kurtis Foster also scored for Anaheim.
“Normally you don’t give up four goals and call yourself a real sharp defensive team, but we came in wanting to play a good road hockey game and find a way to win,” Tippett said. “We got a decent lead and hung on.”
The Coyotes, coming off back-to-back home losses to Chicago and Los Angeles, scored on five of 19 shots against Jonas Hiller and chased him at 7:56 of the second with Phoenix leading by three.
“They pressure pretty well and they made it difficult for us,” Hiller said. “Our defencemen always had somebody on their back and they didn’t give us a while lot of time. We started throwing pucks around and didn’t play smart enough and simple enough. We were losing the puck a lot in our zone and they scored on those chances.”
Gordon put the Coyotes ahead to stay at 4:47 with his first of the season, converting a pass by Pyatt from behind the net after a shot by Korpikoski sailed wide right.
Korpikoski then scored on a short wrist shot after defenceman Adrian Aucoin intercepted an attempted clearing pass by Toni Lydman just inside the Anaheim blue-line and got the puck to Pyatt. Another turnover by defenceman Cam Fowler led to Yandle’s goal.
Hiller was then replaced by Dan Ellis, who stopped all 16 shots he faced.
“The flurry of goals in the second period sunk our hockey club,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “I’m sure a couple of them Jonas would like to have back. Those are usually signs that the goalie doesn’t have it going that night. I probably should have done something after the fourth goal instead of waiting for the fifth goal.
“It’s easy to criticize the goalie because he’s the last line of defence, but there’s a lot of things that happened in front of him.”
The Ducks responded to the switch, getting within 5-3 about 5 1/2 minutes later on Foster’s first goal since being acquired this summer from Edmonton. Getzlaf scored his second with 1:08 remaining.
“They’re really good, and that Getzlaf line is fun to watch if you’re not playing against them,” Doan said. “They were good again, but we were fortunate enough to beat them and hopefully build some momentum.”
Hanzal opened the scoring at 4:41 of the first period, but Visnovsky tied it less than four minutes later with a one-timer that changed direction off Pyatt’s stick.
Getzlaf put the Ducks ahead 2-1 at 14:02 of the first with another deflection, getting his stick on Teemu Selanne’s wrist shot from the right circle. But the lead lasted just 42 seconds, as Hanzal got a lead pass from Yandle while crossing the blue line and beat Hiller with a slap shot.
“If Hanz isn’t the best-kept secret in the league, he’s right up there,” Doan said. “You ask all those guys in our division that have to play against him, like Getzlaf, (Anze) Kopitar, (Joe) Thornton and (Mike) Ribeiro. He does an incredible job.”
Before the game, the Coyotes acquired centre Brock Trottier and a seventh-round pick in next year’s draft from Montreal for centre Petteri Nokelainen and minor league defenceman Garrett Stafford.
NOTES: Referee Brad Watson worked alone because Steve Kozari was ill. Seven minor penalties were called. … For the second straight Sunday, the Ducks hosted the only game on the NHL schedule after 28 of the league’s 30 teams played Saturday. … Phoenix C Andy Miele, this year’s Hobey Baker winner as the top college player, made his NHL debut. … The Ducks begin a seven-game road trip Tuesday at Chicago. … The Coyotes are 2 for 23 on the power play over their last six games after going 4 for 6 in the season opener at San Jose.