GLENDALE, Ariz. – Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere knows why the Ducks lost to the Phoenix Coyotes.
“We didn’t match their desperation,” Giguere said after a 3-2, shootout loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday night. “They wanted it more than we did. This was about desperation, and we did not respond.”
Radim Vrbata scored the only goal of the shootout as Phoenix rallied from two goals down and moved within five points of Vancouver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“This was a huge game and we needed to find a way to get two points,” captain Shane Doan said. “When we were down, everyone on the bench was relaxed. We knew how important this game was to us and had to somehow get back in the game.”
Anaheim’s Chris Pronger had a chance to tie it in the shootout but his wrist shot went high and wide of the net.
The Coyotes tied it on goals from Doan and defenceman Keith Yandle. Phoenix killed a penalty called on Doan in overtime to force the shootout.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 35 saves then stopped Todd Bertuzzi, Todd Marchant and Pronger in the shootout.
Marchant scored on a backhander off a pass from Bertuzzi at 18:34 of the first period. His shot just slid through the pads of Bryzgalov and across the goal line for a 1-0 lead. It was Marchant’s second goal in two games seventh of the season.
The Ducks increased their lead to 2-0 when Ryan Getzlaf converted a centring pass from Samuel Pahlsson into his 22nd of the season at 7:17 of the second period. For Getzlaf, the goal was only the third in his last 21 games.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was satisfied with the point but said Anaheim did not capitalize on its chances.
“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted,” he said. “Sure, we picked up a point, but also lost a point. On the road, you get what you can, but the puck did not bounce our way.”
Phoenix made it 2-1 when Doan’s slap shot beat Giguere just under the cross bar. Doan’s 23rd of the season came at 16:17 of the second period.
The Coyotes had two power-play opportunities in the second but could not convert.
Notes: With right wing Corey Perry is out for up to six weeks with a cut tendon above his right knee, Ducks’ coach Randy Carlyle put Teemu Selanne at right wing with centre Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz. … Selanne needs three goals to pass Michel Goulet and Ron Francis and for 23rd on the goal-scoring list. … Ed Jovanovski’s assist on Doan’s goal gave the Phoenix defenceman 49 points this season, a career high. His previous best was 48 points 2001-02 season with Vancouver.