Coyotes 2, Ducks 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Curtis Joseph stopped 23 shots and lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
Travis Moen brought Anaheim to within 2-1 when he scored late in the third period. The Coyotes then held off the surging Ducks to record their second win in 11 games.
Joseph earned his 16th win of the season, and the 444th of his NHL career. He is one behind Terry Sawchuk for fourth on the NHL career list.
In an energetic but scoreless opening period, Anaheim had the better scoring opportunities. The Ducks' best shot came with just over 7 minutes gone when Andy McDonald's wrist shot from the right circle deflected off the left post.
Jeff Taffe broke the scoreless deadlock early in the second period when he converted Shane Doan's centering pass into his fourth of the season at 4:43.
The Coyotes made make it 2-0 late in the period. Bill Thomas broke down the right side, and his centering pass fell into the skates of Steven Reinprecht. Thomas trailed the play into the slot and put Reinprecht's return pass into at 15:56 for his sixth of the season.
The Ducks had a big opportunity to cut the lead in the third period. Halfway through, Cory Perry was stopped in front, and Chris Kunitz waited on the doorstep for a rebound which Joseph didn't allow.
Notes: Moen's goal was his 11th of the season. Anaheim D Chris Pronger sat out his seventh straight game with a broken toe. RW Owen Nolan was chosen as Phoenix's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.
After eight straight games in the friendly confines of Honda Center, the Ducks hit the road for one night at Phoenix with plenty at stake. With a victory, the Ducks will set franchise records for wins (44) and standings points (100), while also making ground in their quest for the top spot in the Western Conference.
They can also get closer to clinching a spot in the playoffs, as well as locking up the first Pacific Division crown in their history. Anaheim currently holds a four-point lead over San Jose and a five-point cushion over Dallas (which plays in Anaheim tomorrow night).
Western Conference Leaders RK
The Ducks (43-18-12) established records for wins and points marks last season when they went 43-27-12 for 98 points. Anaheim failed in its first chance to set the records Sunday, losing 5-3 to Los Angeles.
It was the team's first regulation defeat in 11 games.
"We're left scratching our head for tonight, I can't think of this group playing as poor a game this year," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Obviously we didn't play to the level that was required, for whatever reason."
Anaheim is battling Nashville and Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference, but allowed its most goals in regulation since a 6-2 loss to St. Louis on Jan. 16.
Recent history suggests Anaheim should be able to get back on track and set the two club records Thursday. The Ducks have won six of the season's first seven games against Phoenix, the Western Conference's worst team, going into the final meeting. Anaheim has taken 16 of the last 19 matchups and earned points in 18 of those games. Meanwhile, Phoenix is 1-8-1 in its last 10 games.
Anaheim can also tie the franchise record for road victories Thursday night. The Ducks won 19 games away from home in their inaugural 1993-94 season, and will have plenty of chances to tie and break that mark if they can't beat the Coyotes. After hosting Dallas on Friday, Anaheim closes out the regular season with six of its last seven games on the road.
While Anaheim focuses on breaking records, the Coyotes (28-41-4) will be trying to avoid a third-straight last-place finish in the Pacific Division after falling into a tailspin near the end of the season.
Phoenix lost 3-2 to Minnesota on Tuesday night for its fourth straight defeat. The Coyotes have lost nine of their last 10 and 16 of 19 since Feb. 7, earning points in only five of those contests.
"Our young guys play hard and they keep battling and tonight again they battled back at 3-2 and made it close, and had some other chances to come back," coach Wayne Gretzky said. "I was happy with how hard our guys worked and the effort they gave."
The Coyotes have lost five of their past six at home and have given up 18 goals in their last three losses at Jobing.Com Arena.
Phoenix has been eliminated from the playoffs for the fourth straight year and fifth time this decade.
- Associated Press contributed to this report
|2006-2007 Team Stats|
|3||Power Play Rank:||24|
|9||Penalty Kill Rank:||30|
|.741||Win % When Leading After 1:||.765|
|.853||Win % When Leading After 2:||.800|
|.421||Win % When Trailing After 1:||.184|
|.217||Win % When Trailing After 2:||.125|
|GOALS:||T. SELANNE||44||S. DOAN||26|
|ASSISTS:||S. NIEDERMAYER||50||S. DOAN||24|
|POINTS:||T. SELANNE||86||S. DOAN||50|
|+/-:||C. PRONGER||26||T. ROCHE||2|
|OT GOALS:||T. SELANNE||2||S. DOAN||1|