By Dave Vest
GLENDALE –Ilya Bryzgalov made 32 saves to lead the Coyotes to a 4-0 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks at Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night.
The victory was Bryzgalov's 34th, and it set a franchise record for victories by a goalie in one season. Sean Burke, Bob Essensa and Brian Hayward all won 33 games in one season for the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets. Bryzgalov passed them on Saturday with 16 games to go.
"It's nice but I'm not chasing any records here," Bryzgalov said. "I'm here to help my teammates win the games, and my teammates help me to win the games because we are in the same business and we're in the same boat.... We're trying to make the playoffs and every game we win we are closer to finishing this mission."
Prucha gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead when he knocked a rebound past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at 19:14 of the first period with 33 seconds left on a Phoenix power play. Prucha's goal snapped a 0 for 29 power-play drought for the Coyotes.
Bryzgalov earned his seventh shutout of the season despite the fact that Anaheim had seven power plays. Phoenix's penalty killers, led by Fiddler, were very aggressive and smothered Anaheim's usually effective power-play units. The Ducks (30-27-7) had just eight power-play shots on goal.
"I thought our penalty killing was outstanding," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "It started with (Bryzgalov) in goal. They’re a big, heavy team that throws a lot of pucks at the net... The only down side of the penalty killing was I don’t like the penalties we were taking to put a team like that on the power play that many times.”
The defeat frustrated Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle.
"Our power play had numerous opportunities to execute and we didn’t do a very good job of that," Carlyle said. "It just seemed like we lost a lot of the one-on-one puck battles that were necessary to maintain some pressure… It seems like right now we’re not getting anywhere near the performance level that’s required.”
Leading 1-0, Coyotes forward Wojtek Wolski scored a nifty goal early in the second period that deflated the Ducks. After Coyotes center Matthew Lombardi won a faceoff in the neutral zone, he fed the puck into the Anaheim zone. Wolski, who has two goals and an assist in two games with Phoenix, gained control of the puck in the right circle, spun clockwise, and swept it at and through Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at 0:52. Game over.
• Forward Petteri Nokelainen played his first game against Anaheim since the Ducks traded him to the Coyotes on Wednesday. Nokelainen played only 8:45, but he won 7 of 11 faceoffs.
• Center Robert Lang did not play because of a minor lower-body injury.
• On-ice officials originally ruled that a third-period shot by defenseman Keith Yandle hit the crossbar. After a stop in the action 30 seconds later, the video officials upstairs correctly ruled that Yandle's shot had gone under the crossbar/across the goal line before returning to play.
• Saturday's game was the 400th NHL game for Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek.
• The Coyotes outscored the Ducks 10-2 in three games at Jobing.com Arena this season.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette, Robert Lang and Jim Vandermeer. The Ducks scratched Mike Brown, Brad Festerling and George Parros.
"I think we played a really, really good game. Special teams were outstanding. I think we dominated, played smart, and didn't make stupid mistakes."
"It was one of our focuses at the beginning of the game, not to be in the (penalty) box the whole night, but they have a lot of skill on their team and when they hang on to the puck as long as they do sometimes you’re forced to take penalties."
"It comes down to who wants to win each little battle. They wanted it more than we did and they got rewarded for it. We just weren’t ready to compete as hard as we need to in those areas and we paid the price for it."
• Nov. 7, 2009: ANA 4, PHX 3
• Nov. 29, 2009: PHX 3, ANA 2 (OT)
• Dec. 19, 2009: ANA 4, PHX 2
• Oct. 31, 2009: PHX 3, ANA 2 (SO)
• Dec. 23, 2009: PHX 4, ANA 0
• March 6, 2010: PHX 4, ANA 0