ANAHEIM, Calif. – Forget the shutout, Jonas Hiller was happy just to survive a chaotic third period.
Mike Brown’s goal off a faceoff in the final period became a surprising game-winner as the Anaheim Ducks held on for a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night. After building a 4-0 lead on goals by Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Brown, the Ducks surrendered three quick goals to Phoenix in an eight-minute span of the third period.
Hiller made several of his 27 saves over the final minutes to secure the victory for the Ducks, who ended a three-game homestand with consecutive wins. It was only the second time this season Anaheim (6-7-2) has won two in a row.
“It’s a win, that’s what we need right now,” said Hiller, who had made 40 saves in a 4-0 victory over Nashville on Thursday.
The third-year NHL goalie held an identical lead seven minutes into the final period against Phoenix, but Keith Yandle and Scottie Upshall each scored within a 38-second span to end Hiller’s bid for consecutive shutouts.
Shane Doan added a power-play goal with 5:24 to play to make it 4-3.
“We gave up one goal and everyone was a little worried back there, not playing our game,” Hiller said. “We were too passive. We didn’t do what we did for the first two periods.”
Matthew Lombardi had two assists for the Coyotes.
“It seems like it’s a lot easier to play when you are down like that, with no consequences,” Coyotes defenceman James Vandermeer said. “It’s good to see that our team didn’t quit, but we can’t allow teams to get a jump on us like that.”
Phoenix entered the game with the second best goals-against-average in the NHL, but the Coyotes were missing three of their top defencemen..
Ed Jovanovski was scratched after sustaining a lower body injury in a 3-1 victory over Chicago on Thursday. The veteran defenceman was tied with Doan for the team lead in scoring (13 points) and fifth in overall scoring by defencemen.
Phoenix was also without top defenceman Zbynek Michalek, who missed a second game because of a lower body injury. Kurt Sauer has been sidelined since opening night.
“I think right now our team is at the end of a very tough stretch – 10 games in 17 nights – the injuries we had at the blue line didn’t help,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “We like that there is no quit in our team, but we don’t like how we started this game.”
Working on a power play in the opening minutes, Selanne gathered a pass from Scott Niedermayer in the slot and quickly swiped the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov for a 1-0 lead.
Each team had trouble developing quality scoring chances until the 12th minute of the second period when Niedermayer whisked a pass from the Anaheim blue line to Ryan as he cut into the Phoenix zone. Ryan then snapped a 40-foot shot from the right circle past Bryzgalov.
Just 4:23 later, Perry fired in a feed from Ryan Getzlaf to put Anaheim in control.
Getzlaf and Perry both extended their point streaks to eight games. Perry has seven goals and five assists during the run. Getzlaf has one goal and 11 assists.
“We’re heading in the right direction now,” said Niedermayer. “Considering how the last few weeks have gone here, it’s good to come out with a couple of wins here at home.”
Brown scored off a faceoff early in the third before the Coyotes began their late rally.
NOTES: The Ducks will open a four-game road trip at New Jersey on Wednesday. … Anaheim D James Wisniewski returned to the Ducks lineup after completing a two-game suspension for a hit on Doan on Oct. 31. … Phoenix D Shaun Herska made his NHL debut in place of Jovanovski. David Schlemko skated in his fifth game after stepping in for Michalek.