Anaheim 5, Phoenix 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Samuel Pahlsson, Jeff Friesen and Corey Perry scored third period goals to lead the Ducks over the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 Sunday at the Arrowhead Pond.
With back-to-back weekend victories over Phoenix, the Ducks have moved into a tie with the Edmonton Oilers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 19 games remaining on the schedule.
“It was big for our hockey club,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “We got down early but we found a way to claw back into it. The one thing that this group has demonstrated all year is that we’re a pretty resilient group.”
The Ducks were held off the scoreboard for the better part of two periods with the Coyotes’ Oleg Kvasha (10, Saprykin, Sanderson) tallying at 17:52 of the first and Paul Mara (13, Jones, Nash) scoring at 7:04 of the second period to give Phoenix the 2-0 lead.
Joffrey Lupul (23, Selanne, Getzlaf) started the Ducks run of five unanswered goals with 53 seconds remaining in the second period. The goal came on Anaheim’s fifth power play of the second period.
“We struggled a bit in the first, and in the second period I thought we were pretty good on our power play,” said Lupul. “We had a lot of chances. We were playing really well in the middle of the second period and towards the end.
For the second-straight game, the Ducks line of Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Jonathan Hedstrom ignited the Anaheim offense. At 2:21 of the third period, Pahlsson (5, R. Niedermayer) took a 2-on-1 pass from Rob Niedermayer and buried his fifth goal of the season to even the contest, 2-2.
Just 27 seconds later, Friesen (4, R. Niedermayer, S. Niedermayer) – a trade deadline addition - scored the eventual game-winner at 2:48. Friesen, in his second stint with the Ducks organization was added along with defenseman Sean O’Donnell on Thursday.
“It was a really good win,” said Friesen. “We really stepped up in the third. It felt good to help contribute and it’s fun playing on this team.”
Perry (8, Kunitz, Getzlaf) scored his eighth of the season from a tough angle at the side of the net to beat Philippe Sauve at 13:30 of the third period.
Todd Marchant (9, Selanne, S. Niedermayer) sealed the victory with an empty goal at 19:10 of the third for his ninth off the season.
The Ducks now face a four-game road trip starting on Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
“We have 19 games left and the next one is the most important one,” said Carlyle “We’re going into a very difficult building to get points in Detroit, but we just have to stay with the game plan and continue to push forward.”
NOTES: Scott Niedermayer set a new club record for assists by a defenseman in a season with two in the contest to give him 41 on the season. The record was previously held by Fredrik Olausson who had 40 in 1998-1999…The Ducks hosted their fourth sellout (17,174) of the season…Anaheim has recorded 153 shots on goal in their last four games averaging 38.25 shots per game…The Ducks next play at the Arrowhead Pond on Wednesday, March 22 against the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 PM (order tickets).