GLENDALE, Ariz. – Corey Perry knows the Anaheim Ducks are going to need a few opportune bounces of the puck if they are going to make a move in the standings.
He got one worthy of a game-show contest Tuesday night in a 7-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Perry scored his first of two goals when the puck deflected off his hand and into the net. His second was on a long rebound into the low slot.
“It was Plinko,” Perry said referring to the “The Price is Right” game that involves a disc ricocheting down a peg board. “There haven’t been many of those this year. You watch a lot of the teams that are having that success, they’re getting those points and they’re getting those goals.”
Chris Kunitz also scored twice and Bobby Ryan scored a goal in his fourth straight game. Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen also scored for the Ducks, who pulled even with Phoenix for fifth place in the Western Conference playoff standings.
“You look at the goals we scored. They were all from the crease in,” said Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “They were goals off faceoffs, off deflections and from jamming the crease. Those are the ugly areas to score goals from.”
Shane Doan scored twice and Mikkel Boedker had a goal for the Coyotes, who lost for just the second time in their last seven home games.
“The reality is we played against a team that knows the situation, knows where they’re at and understands where they are in the standings,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “They basically wanted to win the game more than we did.”
Kunitz and Niedermayer scored 45 seconds apart early in the second period to break a 2-2 tie.
Kunitz was credited with a goal when he and Phoenix defenceman David Hale both chipped at the puck as it rolled past Ilya Bryzgalov’s left skate toward the goal line at 6:35 of the second. Niedermayer made it 4-2 at 7:20 when he redirected Chris Pronger’s slapshot off the faceoff past Bryzgalov.
“They drove the net every chance that they got, they got second and third opportunities and they buried them,” Doan said.
Doan pulled the Coyotes to 4-3 at 17:24, skating past a pair of Anaheim defenders and firing a contested wrist shot into the short side of the net.
But the Ducks regained their two-goal lead with only 2.3 seconds left as Moen one-timed a pass from Scott Niedermayer past Bryzgalov from the front of the crease.
“Definitely, it was a turning point,” Moen said. “We were able to get the momentum back in the game.”
Ryan extended his goal-scoring streak at 2:15 of the third on a long rebound from a tight angle below the left faceoff circle and Perry added his second to cap the scoring.
Boedker gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 9:17 of the first, but it was Olli Jokinen who did most of the work. Jokinen twice kept the puck in the Ducks zone when it was inches from crossing the blue-line, the second time taking an errant clearing attempt and passing to Keith Yandle who then found Boedker for the goal.
The Ducks tied the game 1-1 at 17:07 of the first when Ryan Getzlaf intercepted a pass from Zbynek Michalek near the right circle and passed to Kunitz on the left. Kunitz flicked the puck softly into the vacated left side of the net from the inside hashes of the left circle.
Perry put Anaheim back in front 2-1 just 25 seconds into the second period on the goal off his left glove. Doan tied it 2-2 one minute later on a rising wrist shot from the centre of the right circle.
Notes: Coyotes LW Peter Mueller was shaken up at the end of the second period and did not return for the third due to the undisclosed malady. … Getzlaf has four goals and 17 assists in his last 18 games. … Scott Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson each had a pair of assists for Anaheim. … Doan became the third player in franchise history to record his ninth straight 20-goal season. Dale Hawerchuk and Keith Tkachuk had accomplished the feat previously.