After getting off the second best start in franchise history, the Anaheim Ducks lost to the Dallas Stars on Friday night. They looked to bounce back to their winning ways on Sunday evening in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes. It would be the Ducks last game on home ice until November 9th and they did not want to embark on a two-week road trip with a two-game losing streak.
Despite the fact that the Ducks entered the game with a record of 4-2-0 and the Coyotes 2-3-1, the game began as an almost dead-even match up.
In a span of about ten minutes in the first period, between the 4:41 mark and 14:44, four goals were scored, two by each team. Martin Hanzal netted both for the Coyotes while Lubomir Visnovsky and Ryan Getzlaf added tallies for the Ducks. By the end of the period, the shots on goal were only separated by one, the Ducks with nine and the Coyotes ten.
Things seemed to take a turn in the second, when the Coyotes scored three times in three minutes on Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. Not even halfway through the game and the Ducks trailing by three, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle decided to pull Hiller and replaced him with Dan Ellis.
“They just used all the chances we gave them,” Hiller commented. “We definitely wanted to start that second period different than we did.”
After the goalie swap, the Ducks were able to come back within two on a nice shot by defenseman Kurtis Foster, who was playing his first game of the season after recovering from an injury.
Foster said, “It definitely felt good to get back in the game out there. The biggest thing for me was just keeping it simple.”
The third period went scoreless until there were only sixty-eight seconds remaining. Getzlaf scored another goal bringing the Ducks within one. With Ellis pulled and an extra attacker on the ice, the Ducks had a fighting chance, but couldn’t find the goal they needed to tie it up and the Coyotes won 5-4.
Carlyle stated, “When you look back on it, the flurry of goals in the second period sunk our hockey club.” He continued, “I thought our team had it’s fair share of chances, we just didn’t execute to a level that was required.”
The Ducks, now 4-3-0, will embark on their first multi-game road trip of the season, kicking it off with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
“I wish we would’ve had a better game to send us off,” Getzlaf mentioned. “But maybe that’s what we need, to get out on the road as a group and take advantage of this time together.”