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The Phoenix Coyotes' promising season quickly soured last year when Ladislav Nagy was sidelined with a knee injury. They hope his impressive season debut is a sign of things to come.
Nagy and the Coyotes take on the Anaheim Ducks at Glendale Arena on Saturday.
The Coyotes (1-0-0) are coming off a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. Nagy had two goals - both bouncing off defenders.
Nagy missed the final 29 games last year after injuring his right knee on Jan. 23 against Dallas. He played in the team's next four games before undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a partial tear of the lateral meniscus.
Nagy scored 15 goals with 41 assists in 51 games last year, and still ended the season the team's assist leader. Phoenix finished 13-15-2 without him and failed to reach the postseason for the third consecutive year.
He has five goals and two assists in his four home games against Anaheim.
Shane Doan, Joel Perrault and Derek Morris also scored for Phoenix, which tied a club record for goals on opening night.
Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph, who is 14-13-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average against the Ducks, had 26 saves and earned his 429th career victory, leaving him eight shy of tying Hall of Famer Jacques Plante for in NHL history.
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, in his second season with the team, was pleased to see how the team came out, but was cautious about making too much of one win.
"Listen, we've got 81 more games to go," Gretzky said. "We've got a long ride ahead of us.
Anaheim (1-0-0) is coming off a 4-3 win over Los Angeles on Friday. Chris Kunitz had a goal and an assist, Teemu Selanne added two assists and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 41 saves.
Los Angeles took 22 shots in the first period, but the Ducks' defense held the Kings to 14 shots in the second and just eight in the final period.
"It's always good to get that first game under your belt, and it's always good to win it," said defenseman Chris Pronger. "It wasn't pretty, but we got great goaltending from Jiggy and overcame a few mistakes. It was good enough to win, and now we've got to build on that."
Anaheim strengthened its defense in the offseason with the acquisition of Pronger. The former Hart and Norris Trophy winner was acquired from Edmonton in a trade, and joined captain and fellow Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer to form one of the league's top pairings on defense.
As expected, the duo led the team in ice time with Pronger leading all skaters with 28:52 while Niedermayer was second with 27:46.
Giguere is 11-6 with a 2.18 goals-against average versus the Coyotes. The 11 wins are the second-most he has against any team he's faced. He has 12 against Chicago.
Anaheim won seven of the teams' eight meetings last season.