GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Anaheim Ducks caught a nice break Thursday night, an assist from opposition that kept them in the thick of the NHL playoff race.
Phoenix’s Kyle Turris deflected the puck into his own net with 7:01 to play for the second Anaheim goal and the Ducks went on to a 3-2 shootout victory.
Ryan Getzlav kept Anaheim alive in the shootout with a goal in the third round, then Bobby Ryan slipped the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov in the fifth for the winner.
“I think it’s best not to go down having a move in your mind because then if he doesn’t react well, you’re in trouble,” Ryan said, “so I just freelanced it.”
Todd Marchant had a pair of primary assists for the Ducks, who climbed into a tie with idle Dallas and Minnesota for ninth place in the West with 74 points – three behind Nashville and Edmonton, who are tied for seventh. The top eight teams in the conference will make the playoffs.
“We were sure lucky about those two points,” goalie Jonas Hiller said. “It wasn’t pretty, but those are the kinds of things we need right now, just find a way to win.”
Turris’ inadvertent goal came when Anaheim’s Petteri Nokelainen skidded into the net just as the puck was passed in front of the goal by Marchant. Nokelainen blocked Bryzgalov from the play. Turris was there to knock the puck away, but it went in instead.
Officials reviewed he play to make sure the puck wasn’t kicked in, then Nokelainen was credited with the goal, his second of the season, with Marchant getting the assist.
“We didn’t feel it was a penalty,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said, “but we did feel the player did interfere with the goaltender. But it’s such a fast-paced game. Sometimes that’s going to happen.”
The Coyotes tied it on Matthew Lombardi’s goal with 2:31 left in regulation. He took a pass in the crease from Scottie Upshall, and knocked it off the right post and across the line for the score.
After Ryan’s shootout goal, Lombardi missed his attempt to allow Anaheim to escape with the victory.
“Every missed check or every bounce of the puck can have a huge effect on the outcome,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “That’s what’s so difficult for everybody involved in the game when you’re in the stretch and you’re in the situation we’re in.”
The Ducks scored just 3:05 into the game on a goal by Drew Miller, called up from Iowa of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.
But Phoenix dominated the period after that, tying it at 1 when Zbynek Michalek took a pass from Mikkel Boedker and ripped a slap shot past goalie Jonas Hiller at the 7:57 mark.
This was the last of the Ducks’ 15 games on consecutive nights.
Notes: Anaheim is 7-8-0 in the second half of back-to-back nights. … Miller is in his third stint with Anaheim after spending most of the season in the minors. … Anaheim’s Rob Niedermayer played in his 1,000th NHL game. He and teammate Scott Niedermayer are the fourth pair of brothers in league history to reach 1,000 games played apiece.