GLENDALE – Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano continues to make himself at home at Jobing.com Arena, but the Coyotes found a way to scratch and claw just enough to protect home ice against one of the National Hockey League's hottest teams on Saturday night.
Cogliano, who scored a natural hat trick here last Jan. 31 in a span of 6:51, did it again with a goal 16 seconds into play and two more in the second period. But the Coyotes rallied three times to force overtime – the last when Steve Sullivan scored with 6:29 left in regulation – and Sullivan scored the only goal of the shootout in a wild and entertaining 5-4 win against the Ducks.
The two Pacific Division foes play three straight games against each other – back here Monday night and Wednesday in Anaheim – but they will be hard-pressed to put on a better show. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith made 31 saves and stopped Nick Bonino, Corey Perry and Saku Koivu in the shootout.
Viktor Fasth stopped 33 shots for Anaheim and denied Mikkel Boedker and Lauri Korpikoski in the shootout. But Sullivan, who snapped a 14-game scoreless draught with his game-tying goal, beat Fasth between the pads for the extra point. It was Fasth's first loss in five shootouts this season.
The Ducks were playing for the second time in as many nights and for the fifth time in seven days and it showed it the third period.
“We want to be greedy and get the two points every chance you get, but in the last 10 minutes they were the better team,” Anaheim Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It was an entertaining game, just a little sloppy.”
With Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata on injured reserve and the offense slumping, Phoenix Head Coach Dave Tippett challenged his remaining skilled scorers to shoulder more of the load and have a bigger impact on the game. Sullivan and Korpikoski, who snapped a 10-game slump with two goals, answered the call.
“I know how long it's been since I scored (Jan. 24 at San Jose) and when you go that long you're rushing and not as confident as you usually are,” Sullivan said. “That’s what I was brought here to do and it hasn't been going in, so I felt a lot of pressure. You just keep pushing.”
Korpikoski's second goal tied the score, 3-3, 16 seconds into the third period. Matthew Lombardi also scored for Phoenix.
The Ducks lost center Kyle Palmieri to an upper-body injury in the first period and reunited the Perry-Ryan Getzlaf-Bobby Ryan line much of the night. But it was Cogliano, who has six goals and eight points in his past three games here, who did most of the damage.
“I can't really explain it. I felt like our line was playing well and I was shooting the puck and finding the net,” said Cogliano, who has 19 points in 23 career games against Phoenix. “One was a pretty nice shot and then I was in the right spot found a way under (Smith) twice.”
Cogliano started early. Just 21 seconds into the game, Phoenix couldn't clear its zone and Koivu found him all alone on the doorstep for an easy tap-in goal. The Coyotes also allowed a goal on Minnesota's first shot in a 4-3 loss on Thursday just 1:45 into play.
The Ducks made a serious bid to double their lead on their first power play, holding the puck in the Phoenix zone for the entire two minutes and forcing Smith to make eight saves, including big ones on Francois Beauchemin and Bonino.
That flipped the momentum, and Phoenix capitalized.
A blocked shot by Zbynek Michalek sent the play the other way, and Raffi Torres missed the net on a shot from the left wing. But the puck smacked off the boards behind the net and trickled near the far post, where Lombardi banked a shot off Fasth's shoulder – setting a seesaw night into motion.
Korpikoski snapped his slump and made it 2-1 for Phoenix 12:32 into the second, finding the top corner of the net when Fasth stabbed and missed at his drive. But the Phoenix lead lasted just 27 seconds as Cogliano went back to work.
He gobbled up a turnover in the neutral zone, used Rostislav Klesla as a screen, and his shot deflected off Klesla's stick to beat Smith to the short side at 12:59 to make it 2-2. Less than five minutes later, Cogliano took a Daniel Winnik pass in the left circle and completed the hat trick at 17:26 to put the Ducks back in front.
Korpikoski and the Coyotes needed 16 seconds of the third period to answer. Antoine Vermette won a battle for a popped-up puck behind the Anaheim net and pushed it to Korpikoski at the top of the slot. He beat Fasth to notch the seventh two-goal game of his career.
“It was a pretty sloppy game overall, and probably not the game we want to play,” Korpikoski said. “… We knew they played last night so we threw everything at them to find a way to get those goals and we did and got the big two points.”
Phoenix kept pressuring but lost its momentum when Kyle Chipchura was called for goaltender interference. Anaheim again dominated the power play, and four seconds before Chipchura left the box, Ryan found Koivu in the slot for a shot that trickled through Smith's pads at 6:25 to give Anaheim their third lead.
But the Ducks began to tire and the Coyotes turned up the heat. Boedker set up Oliver Ekman-Larsson for a blast that Fasth stopped, but the rebound slid up the slot where Sullivan was waiting to tie the score for the fourth time. Smith made three saves on an Anaheim 4-on-3 power play in overtime to give his team a chance in the shootout.
“I think we had a really good third period,” Sullivan said. “We knew they played last night and we knew they were going to have some tired legs and we really put the full-court press on in the third period. We thought we were getting a lot of cycles going in deep and making them have to play a 200-foot game and it showed. We had a lot of good scoring chances in the third period.”
FIVE FOR PHOENIX
1. Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker chipped in an assist and has notched a point in six of his last seven games. He leads the team with 16 points and 12 assists.
2. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith upped his record to 7-3-1 in 12 career games against the Ducks.
3. Coyotes captain Shane Doan assisted on Matthew Lombardi’s goal. It was the 799th point of Doan’s NHL career.
4. Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney passed Mike Smith (1988-94) as the second-longest tenured G.M. in franchise history at 431 games. Phoenix has posted a 219-162-50 record during Maloney’s tenure.
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