GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) — Jean-Sebastien Giguere tried to make
the most of a rare relief appearance.
Giguere played a perfect third period, but Viktor Tikhonov
scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lead the Phoenix
Coyotes to a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday
Giguere, who took over for starter Jonas Hiller, made the
initial save on Tikhonov’s shot with his left skate, but his leg
and the puck barely crossed the goal line to give the Coyotes
“I made the save and then my pad went in the net and the puck
follows,” Giguere said. “It was a little lucky but that’s the
way it goes.”
Anaheim, which lost for the third time in 13 games, moved one
point ahead of the St. Louis Blues for seventh place in the
Western Conference. The Blues will finish the regular season
Sunday in Colorado.
“We got ourselves in the playoffs now and we should be excited
about that,” said Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who had a
pair of assists. “It’s really not going to matter who we play.
We’re going to be playing a really good hockey club.”
Phoenix entered the third period with a two-goal lead, but Bobby
Ryan and Teemu Selanne scored 45 seconds apart to get the Ducks
Giguere helped carry Anaheim into overtime by stopping all nine
shots he faced after replacing Hiller. It was his first game
action since March 27 when he allowed four goals on seven shots.
“I don’t know what’s ahead of me,” Giguere said. “I wanted to
make sure this period was a good one, a positive one. Whatever
the future holds we’ll see what’s going to happen. For now it
felt good just to play one period.”
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said he and his staff have not settled
on a starter for the playoffs.
“As I’ve stated before we have 1-A and 1-B,” Carlyle said.
“These kind of things make these decisions even tougher. Four
goals, that’s what alarms me.”
Ilya Bryzgalov warmed up for the shootout by stopping Andrew
Ebbett’s breakaway attempt off a long outlet from Chris Pronger
with 1:01 left in overtime.
Steven Reinprecht scored a pair of power-play goals and added an
assist for the Coyotes, who ended the season with five wins in
seven games. Reinprecht and Shane Doan also scored in the
“We wanted to end on a high,” Reinprecht said. “We wanted to
come out and play well and get the win and we did, so that was
Todd Fedoruk and Enver Lisin also scored and Doan had two
assists for Phoenix, which had been in fifth place in the West
at the All-Star break before a 12-20-2 free fall to end the
“As a team it was disappointing that the season is over but we
got some positive things and we want to be better,” Doan said.
“We’re going to be better and that’s the most encouraging
Corey Perry scored in regulation and the shootout, Erik
Christensen had a goal in regulation, and Ryan Getzlaf added a
shootout goal for the Ducks.
Lisin gave the Coyotes a 4-2 lead with 5.6 seconds left in the
second period when he skated in from the left side and beat
Hiller with a quick wrist shot.
But Ryan bounced a shot off the right post from the bottom of
the left circle with 14:58 left, and Selanne scored from the
center of the right circle less than a minute later to make it
Reinprecht put the Coyotes ahead 1-0 at 3:38 of the first period
off a rebound from the left corner of the crease. Perry tied it
at 2:39 of the second with a sweeping forehand shot after
Bryzgalov stopped James Wisniewski’s long attempt.
Fedoruk made it 2-1 at 7:00 of the second when he beat Hiller on
a long rebound, and Reinprecht extended the lead to 3-1 at 12:21
of the second on another rebound, this one from the top of the
Perry pulled the Ducks within 3-2 at 18:19 following a lengthy
scramble in front. Bryzgalov stopped Niedermayer’s initial shot
but couldn’t find the rebound. Two Coyotes joined the goalie in
the crease before Perry reached in and tucked the puck into the
open left side of the net.
Hiller, making his seventh straight start, stopped 20 of 24
shots in two periods before he was replaced by Giguere to begin