Todd Marchant and the rest of the Ducks could get nothing past Alex Auld all night.
Game Highlights ANAHEIM – With the Ducks hurting and coming off an 0-2 road trip, a home date against a struggling Phoenix team looked like the perfect prescription.
Unfortunately for Anaheim, the Coyotes refused to fill it.
In a mostly lifeless game, Phoenix’s Craig Weller scored his first career goal and the only goal of the contest, as the Ducks continued to tussle with finding the net in a disheartening 1-0 defeat at Honda Center.
“We had our chances tonight and we didn’t execute where we supposed to and where we should have," said Ducks winger Corey Perry. "We need to learn from this game and move forward. We did a lot of things right but we had a couple of minutes where we had a lapse and they capitalized.”
The Ducks came into the game having won 10 in a row on their home ice against Phoenix, who entered the contest with a 2-5-0 record. Anaheim suffered its third straight loss and fell to 4-7-1 on the season.
The Ducks, already without Mathieu Schneider (ankle) and Todd Bertuzzi (concussion) because of injuries, played their second straight game without Rob Niedermayer, who hurt his groin prior to Tuesday night’s St. Louis game. Ryan Getzlaf, who left that game with a strained forearm, also sat out for Anaheim.
The Ducks outshot Phoenix 31-21, but couldn’t get anything past goalie Alex Auld, who pitched his third career shutout. Anaheim continued to produce nothing on the power play, going 0-6. That makes them 4-55 in their last nine games. Anaheim has just five goals in its last four games.
Neither team found the net in the first, though it wasn’t for a lack of chances for Anaheim. The Ducks had five man-advantage opportunities in the period and came up empty on each one.
Phoenix broke the ice 3:03 into the second as longtime minor-leaguer Weller scored his first as an NHLer. Weller took a shot from the right faceoff circle that rang around all three posts before finally hitting the net as he went tumbling into the back boards.
The Ducks had several opportunities go awry in the contest, as goalie Alex Auld made several big stops among his 31. Auld is in his first year in Phoenix, after playing 27 games with Florida last season and parts of four seasons in Vancouver.
Auld never touched one of the biggest missed opportunities for Anaheim. Just more than halfway through the third, with the Ducks looking to tie it, Chris Kunitz took an Andy McDonald drop pass on the left wing and rang it off the crossbar.
“Obviously we’re squeezing our sticks," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "Tonight we missed open nets and we missed glorious opportunities. We seemed to get frustrated as the game wore on. The work ethic is there. The commitment to playing hard is there.”
Ilya Bryzgalov was one who worked hard, picking up 20 saves in a losing effort for Anaheim.
The Ducks try to bounce back against Edmonton on Sunday.
“Right now we’ve got a lot of things to work on in order to get ourselves better and in order to win some hockey games," said Ducks captain Chris Pronger. "It can be frustrating at times but those are the situations when you don’t want to be frustrated and you need to take a step back, take a couple deep breaths and make sure that you’re staying as focused and determined as possible.”
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks suffer a tough one, 1-0, despite outshooting Phoenix 31-21.
19:59 - Drew Miller fires a desperation shot at Auld, but he blocks it.
19:35 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. holding. And several Ducks fans head to the exits.
19:10 - The Ducks empty the net.
18:50 - Kunitz gets open on the right wing, but his shot to the far post is kicked away by Auld.
13:53 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. slashing. Just what the Ducks do not need right now.
13:48 - Daniel Winnik steals the puck and finds it on a breakaway, but his shot flies over the net.
13:05 - Beauchemin looks like he's about to rip a slap shot from the point, but he mishits it and his stick breaks in half.
11:59 - Pronger's slapper from the blue line, bounces again off Auld and Beauchemin's follow from the slot also doesn't get through.
As we come back, the crowd tries to get it going in anticipation of the power play.
During the timeout, we get a score on the World Series: Boston 2, Colorado 1. The crowd boos, but only slightly.
11:26 - PHO Penalty - Niko Kapanen, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks get yet another opportunity.
11:26 - Perry takes a one-timer from the right circle after it comes off the corner boards and Auld is right there.
10:21 - Perry skates down the right wing, gives it to McDonald in the slot, who drops it to Kunitz. Kunitz's shot clangs off the crossbar. Huge opportunity lost for Anaheim.
8:08 - Corey Perry grabs the puck from behind the net from Auld, but before Perry can skate back and try a wraparound, Auld is back in position to make a big save. Perry is noticeably frustrated.
7:24 - Jovanovski's shot from the blue line bounces off Brygalov, and Radim Vrbata's soft follow is easily saved again. Bryz has 17 saves. Auld has 20.
5:53 - ANA Penalty - Brad May, 2 min. tripping. May takes down Jovanovski with his stick near the red line. The crowd boos, but I think it's just because they haven't yelled in awhile.
4:59 - Shane Hnidy is taken down behind the net and the crowd thought it was a trip.
4:06 - Moen skates up the right wing, looks like he wants to feed King in the slot, but slings a shot instead that Auld has little trouble with.
3:40 - Pahlsson, King and Moen on the checking line.
3:10 - Wirtanen, Parros and May on the fourth line for the Ducks.
This crowd definitely needs something to yell about.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks needing desperately to find the net.
During the intermission, the video board shows second-period highlights. To no one's surprise, they weren't all that exciting.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - As the horn sounds, Corey Perry and Ed Jovanovski do a little pushing, but no shoving. Pronger grabs Jovanovski from behind to keep it from escalating. It's the end of yet another period where the Ducks can't get anything going on the offensive end. Craig Weller's first career goal 3:03 into it gives the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. 19:25 - Pronger rips another one-timer that deflects all the way to Auld, but he gobbles it.
After the whistle, the "I've got a fever...and the only prescription is more cowbell" makes, from what I can tell, it's first appearance of the season. Odd.
17:09 - Doan unleashes one at the bottom of the left circle that Brygalov blocks and then dives on the loose disc. Doan is still looking for his first goal of the year.
14:40 - PHO Penalty - Keith Ballard, 2 min. roughing. Ducks get the man advantage. Maybe calling it that instead of the power play will get a goal.
14:05 - Andy McDonald continues to work his tail off to keep the puck in the Phoenix zone, but can't get anything else going offensively.
10:11 - Todd Marchant tries to bring the puck into the Phoenix zone, but Chris Pronger hasn't quite gotten back to the blue line froom being in the Coyotes zone and it's offside. Incidentally, Marchant is wearing the "A" tonight with Rob Niedermayer out with an injury.
During the break, it's time for tonight's Ducks Trivia Challenge. Our contestant Mark is standing next to four Power Players. He's already won. The question, after playing Nashville on Oct. 17, Petteri Wirtanen became one of how many Ducks players to score a goal in their NHL debut. Is it 3, 5 or 9? He guesses 5. Sorry, it's 9. He doesn't seem all that disappointed. The row in front of him wins coupons from Carl's Jr.
5:40 - Miek Zigomanis takes a shot from the right circle that Bryzgalov saves near his right armpit. Between those two players, seven syllables.
5:02 - Jason King gets loose in the slot and throws a wrist shot at the net that gets knocked away.
3:03 - PHOENIX GOAL - CRAIG WELLER - Niko Kapanen gives it off to Weller on the left wing. He fires a wrister from the right faceoff dot that rings around the left post, crossbar and right post before finally touching the net. Weller falls and goes slamming into the boards as he raises his arms in triumph. It's the first of his NHL career and it's 1-0 Coyotes.
1:37 - Pronger's slapper from the top of the left circle is saved and then picked up in front by Auld.
0:00 - We're off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks continue to work diligently to find the net, but can't as there is no score after one. They outshoot the Coyotes 12-7 in the period.
19:26 - ANA Penalty - Mark Mowers, 2 min. goaltender interference. Mowers runs into Auld as the Ducks try to stuff it in.
19:20 - The second of two booming Chris Pronger shots is knocked away in front.
18:41 - PHO Penalty - Zbynek Michalek, 2 min. cross checking. During a scrum around the net, with the Ducks trying to punch it in, Michalek uses illegal methods to clear the puck.
18:15 - New call-up Jason King gets some time on the PP unit with McDonald and Perry.
16:54 - PHO Penalty - Derek Morris, 2 min. holding. Ducks on a...does it really matter lately?
16:29 - Kent Huskins' one-timer from the point ticks off a Phoenix defenseman, but Auld snatches it out of the air.
FSN Prime Ticket shows a graphic of Most Goals by Coaches and of course Gretz is No. 1. But how do you score a goal as a coach? I'm confused.
A shot on the TV of The Great One during the timeout. Looks like he's letting his hair grow out. He's got a look on his face that says, "Why am I doing this? I could be on a beach somewhere. Why am I coaching a 2-5-0 team?"
14:49 - We hit the timeout with it still scoreless, the Ducks outshooting the Yotes 11-7.
12:20 - McDonald's wrister from the right circle is knocked away by Auld. Perry tries to one-time the follow and that misses the net.
11:59 - Corey Perry's high shot is knocked away by Auld, and Kunitz's follow doesn't connect.
11:29 - PHO Penalty - Niko Kapanen, 2 min. holding. The Ducks get another shot on the power play and a chance to break out of their PP slump.
10:55 - Moen tries a shot near the net as he falls to the ice, but Auld makes the save as the crowd goes "Awwww!"
10:20 - Bryzgalov makes a nice blocker save on a Doan shot from the right circle.
8:52 - Chris Kunitz's wrister from the left circle kicks off Auld.
7:45 - PHO Penalty - Daniel Winnik, 2 min. delay of game. Winnik flings it into the crowd. Ducks on the power play.
I know "Two Tickets to Paradise" is the perfect song for that Delta ticket promotion, but MAN, am I tired of that song.
6:20 - Andy McDonald goes behind the cage and deftly tries a wraparound, but Auld gets a pad on it near the right post.
5:27 - Sean O'Donnell and Zbynek Michalek get into it after the whistle, leading to a pileup of white and black jerseys. Nothing more develops.
4:01 - Pronger makes a nice pass to Moen in the slot, but his shot is pad saved by Auld.
3:22 - ANA Penalty - Brad May, 2 min. hooking. Phoenix goes on the PP.
Not a huge crowd thus far. Must be traffic. Or a little something I like to call "Thursday night against Phoenix." After all, The Office and 30 Rock are on.
2:20 - Maxim Kondratiev is on the ice, as Joe DiPenta is a scratch.
1:18 - Drew Miller makes two nifty moves around Phoenix defenders up the middle of the ice, then takes a shot from the slot that misses the cage.
1:08 - Ilya Bryzgalov is in goal for the Ducks. I listed that wrong earlier.
0:00 - And we're underway in the first. Feels like awhile since we've been here. Feels like awhile since the Ducks have won.
Pregame 7:08 - Dawn Wright with another nice redition of the anthem. The Ducks have eliminated the singing-along portion of the anthem. Probably a good idea, at least until the playoffs.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA Ilya Bryzgalov; PHO Alex Auld
Starting Skaters: ANA Chris Kunitz, Andy McDonald, Francois Beauchemin, Mark Mowers, Kent Huskins; PHO Zbynek Michalek, Craig Weller, Steven Reinprecht, Daniel Winnik, Ed Jovanovski