"You're going to drive yourself crazy if you look at those standings that hard every day," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett warned. "We have the focus right now that every game is going to be the game that puts you in the playoffs, and we have to play every one just like it's a playoff game."
Corey Perry scored Anaheim's goals, and Dan Ellis stopped 17 of 21 shots through two periods before he was replaced by Ray Emery. The 10th-place Ducks (37-27-5) are two points behind eighth-place Calgary.
"At this time of the year, there is desperation in every play, every penalty kill and every power play," Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle said. "Everybody needs the points and it's important that you give your best effort. Tonight was not one of our best efforts."
Emery, who stopped all 10 shots he faced in his Anaheim debut, got into an NHL game for the first time since Feb. 1, 2010, when he was with Philadelphia. A month later, Emery underwent hip surgery.
Photo by Getty Images.
Perry tied the score at 2 at 15:46 of the second period with his 36th goal, redirecting a slap shot by rookie Cam Fowler on a power play created by a penalty for too many men on the ice.
"They have top players that give them a very dangerous power play and we put them on the ice too much, but we got away with it," Tippett said.
Phoenix regained the lead 61 seconds later when Korpikoski scored a pretty/momentum-shifting goal (see KEY MOMENT below).
Then, just moments after Ducks forward Todd Marchant was released from the penalty box for high-sticking Korpikoski, Schlemko made the score 4-2 by scoring his third goal of the season 43 seconds before the second intermission.
Phoenix led 2-1 after one period thanks to goals by Pyatt and Korpikoski.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Tied 2-2 late in the second period, Ducks forward Todd Marchant tried to sweep the puck out of Anaheim's zone while backpedaling near the right circle and fanned.
Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski grabbed the loose puck, swooped around the flat-footed Marchant, swerved around Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, and slid his 17th goal between the pads of goalie Dan Ellis.
The two goals matched a career-high for Korpikoski for goals in one game.
"He sure looks good right now," Tippett said of Korpikoski. "He's our leading goal-scorer, and if you said that in training camp you would have probably raised a few eyebrows. But he is just playing terrific. What he's done is build himself into a very good NHL player. He's combined a strong work ethic with a knowledge of the game."
• The Coyotes' next game is Tuesday vs. Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"Every time you start a long road trip, it's nice to get the first win right away. And of course, every game against a team from our our conference is huge so we, for sure, are happy about the result."
"The fun thing about being on this team is that we count on every single guy. Korpikoski was incredible. You've got to give him credit for creating something out of nothing. Twice."
"It's a tough one. We certainly know what is at stake. You have a game at home here against a team that you're fighting with for the playoffs, and we came out flat again in the first period. That set the tone for the game. We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them."
• Oct. 17, 2010: ANA 3, PHX 2 • Dec. 5, 2010: PHX 3, ANA 0 • March 13, 2011: PHX 5, ANA 2
• Nov. 27, 2010: ANA 6, PHX 4 • Dec. 28, 2010: ANA 3, PHX 1 • Jan. 15, 2011: PHX 6, ANA 2