By Kyle Shohara
The Ducks were greeted with heavy rain as they touched down in Phoenix around one o’clock in the morning, but that didn’t dampen the team’s mood after a thrilling overtime victory just hours earlier.
In desperate need of a win after going winless in their last five, the Ducks brought the effort the team had been searching for, and it made for a game to remember. On a night when they learned Viktor Fasth was unable to go with a lower-body injury just minutes before game time, Jonas Hiller answered the call with a 31-save shutout in 64 minutes of play. Then, captain Ryan Getzlaf sent the Honda Center crowd into a frenzy after delivering the game-winning goal with only 5.2 seconds remaining, beating a seemingly un-beatable Ben Bishop on a second-chance opportunity. Getzlaf’s “running man” celebration was perhaps his best to date, and evoked memories of Mike Eruzione’s iconic celebration 33 years ago.
The Ducks will look to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against the division-rival Coyotes. The Coyotes are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at home against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Tonight’s game will feature three of the league’s top-five active consecutive games played leaders. Andrew Cogliano sits third on the list with 493 consecutive games played and Coyotes players Antoine Vermette (333) and Keith Yandle (325) rank fourth and fifth, respectively. Cogliano hasn’t missed a game in his entire seven-year NHL career.
Anaheim and Phoenix play the third game of a five-game season series tonight at Jobing.com Arena. The Ducks are 2-0-0 against the Coyotes, including Honda Center wins on Nov. 6 (5-2) and Oct. 18 (3-2 shootout). The Ducks are 59-32-16 all-time vs. Coyotes, including a 25-17-9 mark in Arizona.
Teemu Selanne paces Anaheim skaters in career scoring vs. Phoenix, earning 78 points (38g/40a) in 83 games.
This year, Nick Bonino leads all skaters with three points (1g/2a) in the two games played to date. Following tonight's game, the season series will return to Anaheim on Dec. 28 before concluding on Jan. 11 in Glendale.
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