ANAHEIM – Ilya Bryzgalov typically has big games against his former team, and this time he did it to keep the Ducks from joining his Coyotes in playoff position.
Bryzgalov’s 36 saves paced Phoenix to a 5-2 victory over the Ducks at Honda Center and kept Anaheim from breaking into the top eight in the Western Conference.
"You have to tip your hat to Bryz," said Ducks forward Todd Marchant, a teammate of Bryzgalov's for parts of three seasons. "He really kept them in there and made some big stops. It could have been a much different game if we had gotten some by him early."
The Coyotes relied on a stingy, shot-blocking defense, notably when the Ducks were scrambling to cut into a two-goal lead in the third period. Anaheim sent goalie Ray Emery to the bench for an extra attacker in the final few minutes, but the shots they were able to get through bounced off Bryzgalov. And Phoenix put the game away when Shane Doan put a slapshot into the empty net from the high right wing with 41.3 seconds left in the game.
Emery made his first appearance in a Ducks uniform to start the third period with the Ducks trailing Phoenix 4-2. It was his first NHL game since February 1, 2010 with Philadelphia, completing a comeback from hip surgery.
"I’ve been waiting to get in the net," Emery said. "I didn’t want it to be under that circumstance. It got my feet. I tried to give the boys a chance to stick around in the game."
Emery, who saved all nine shots he saw in the third, entered the game in relief of Dan Ellis, who had a tough night in giving up Phoenix’s first four goals.
"It’s a tough one," said Marchant. "You have a game at home here against a team that you’re fighting with for the playoffs. We came out flat again in the first period. That set the tone for the game. We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them."
After going down 2-1 through one period, the Ducks fought back to finally tie it with 4:14 left in the second. A too many men on the ice minor for the Coyotes led to a Ducks power play in which a Cam Fowler slap shot was tipped in by Corey Perry with his back to the net. It was the second goal of the game for Perry, as he also scored the game’s first goal on a beautiful setup by Bobby Ryan.
But after each of Perry goals, the Coyotes answered back with two unanswered, and this time they did it to take a 4-2 lead through the second period.
Just a minute after Perry’s second, Lauri Korpikoski scored his second of the game after Marchant fanned on the puck trying to send it out of the zone, and Korpikoski picked it up and sent it under Ellis.
And with 42.1 left in the period, with Marchant just having left the box following a high sticking penalty, Schlemko one-timed a shot through a crowd that beat Ellis five hole.
"We didn’t have a very good start to the hockey game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "That was the biggest issue I have as a coach. We didn’t come out of the gate firing like we normally do. We have had great starts here before. Tonight, it just seemed like we were a half of a step behind. We got our game going in the second period and we did a lot of good things."
Anaheim remains two points out of the eighth spot in the West, which might be more when they play St. Louis on Wednesday at Honda Center.
"These points are too important," Marchant said. "It was a four-point game tonight. We certainly know what is at stake. Having faced it last year, not playing in April and May, we don’t want to get there again. It has to start here on Wednesday."
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks drop a game they needed to get into playoff position, 5-2.
19:18 - PHOENIX GOAL (EMPTY NET) - SHANE DOAN - Aucoin gets the puck up ahead to Doan and he slaps it into the empty net from the high right wing. That's it for this one.
18:26 - Fiddler gets hit in the mouth with the puck and comes out bleeding.
17:15 - Ryan and Fiddler come out, so it's 6 on 4 with Emery on the bench.
16:50 - Timeout Ducks. They have to have one here.
16:50 - Selanne throws it on net, but Bryz is too good tonight.
16:25 - Make that 5 on 3 after the Ducks pull Emery.
16:19 - PHX Penalty - Radim Vrbata, 2 min. delay of game. It's 4 on 3.
16:17 - Perry feeds across to a wide open Fowler, but he can't get the angle on a shot.
15:15 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan and PHX Penalty - Vernon Fiddler, 2 min. each roughing. Ryan gets into it with Fiddler after trying to poke the puck away from Bryz aftrer the whistle. A couple of punches thrown. They both get the gate.
14:28 - Ebbett apparently has an upper body injury and won't return. Probably stems from that collision with Sbisa.
13:48 - Ryan tries a wraparound that Bryz is ready for.
12:30 - Ducks not getting anything going in the Coyotes end. Just two shots in the period.
Butterfly by Crazy Town plays on the PA. Maybe a tribute to the goalies' styles.
5:58 - Emery gets tested when Getzlaf nearly kicks the puck into his own net, but he sticks out the leg pad just in time.
5:25 - Pyatt shot trickles behind Emery, but Visnovsky takes it off the goal line. Scary.
4:31 - Emery with his first save since Feb. 1 of 2010, on a shot from the point by Morris.
2:10 - Ducks can't seem to get a shot through to the net.
0:10 - Big ovation when Emery is announced. First game since February of 2010.
0:00 - Ducks come out for the third with Ray Emery making his Ducks debut in net.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks tie it, but Coyotes answer back with two to go up 4-2.
19:17 - PHOENIX GOAL - DAVID SCHLEMKO - Just as Marchant is getting out of the box, Whitney sends a pass to Schlemko at the point and he one-times a shot through traffic and under Ellis. Backbreaker for the Ducks as they go down two near the end of the period.
When You Were Young by the Killers. Good song.
16:47 - PHOENIX GOAL - LAURI KORPIKOSKI - Marchant fans trying to send the puck out of his own end, and it's picked up by Korpikoski, who drives past Visnovsky and sends the puck under a drawn-out Ellis. Just like that, Phoenix re-takes the lead on Korpikoski's second of the game.
15:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Ducks finally break through on a goal by (who else?) Perry, after Fowler loads and fires from the straightaway point and Perry gets his stick on it with his back to the net to redirect it past Bryzgalov. We're tied 2-2.
14:47 - PHX Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice. Coyotes get caught in a bad change when the puck pinballs back toward their bench area. Might not have gotten called it players and fans didn't go nuts when they saw it.
13:20 - Big kick save by Ellis on a Whitney shot from the slot.
Maybe posting this classic will change the Ducks' fortunes against Bryz. "Why you haf to be mad??"
9:30 - Ebbett gets the worst of a collision with Sbisa at the blue line. He looks a little woozy.
8:45 - Perry gets the puck in front of the crease and gets Bryz down, but Ebbett somehow sneaks in and blocks the shot with his side. Robbery.
8:18 - Koivu slap shot is corralled by Bryz, who is having a nice night. More cross checks after the whistle.
6:11 - Marchant and Winchester chop away at the puck after a shot hits Bryz and sits in front of him. He falls back into the net and the puck goes over the line just after the net is knocked off. That was close.
5:00 - Ducks get close, but not close enough.
3:40 - PHX Penalty - Kyle Turris, 2 min. elbowing. Perry tries to shove Turris into his own bench and gets an elbow to the face for it. Official didn't miss it.
1:10 - Not a good PP for the Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, Ducks on the PP.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get a Perry goal, but give up two to go down 2-1. They'll have 1:09 of power play time when we come back.
19:40 - Bryz makes a big stop on a Visnovsky one-timer.
19:08 - PHX Penalty - Vernon Fiddler, 2 min. hooking. Fiddler gets the stick into Koivu in front of his own net.
18:57 - Perry makes some enemies around the net after Bryz freezes the puck following a Ryan try from the corner.
17:33 - PHOENIX GOAL - LAURI KORPIKOSKI - Lydman tries to defend without his stick on Korpikoski, who circles back, makes a move to his left and sends the puck under Ellis' right pad. Phoenix leads it 2-1.
16:50 - Fowler slides on his belly to kick the puck away from former Duck Ebbett.
15:05 - PHX Penalty - Shane Doan, 2 min. interference. Ruutu picks up a fanned puck and sends it ahead to Marchant, then gets knocked down by Doan as he's trying to join the rush. Power play gone. Doan gone for 2 minutes. Both good things for Anaheim.
14:50 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding. Perry puts a hand on Korpikoski and knocks him down. That's a tough one to take.
14:06 - Yandle gets a little bit of room, but his shot is deflected and Ellis gloves it out of the air.
5:44 - PHOENIX GOAL - TAYLOR PYATT - Lilja fans trying to send the puck up the wall and then loses an edge and goes down trying to recover. Pyatt picks up the turned-over puck and fires a shot from the right wing circle that flies over Ellis' shoulder. We're tied.
3:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - A beautiful play by Bobby Ryan makes this one happen, as Getzlaf picks up a loose puck and drops it to Ryan above the left wing circle. He stick-handles around Rozsival, alludes Schlemko and sends a pinpoint pass between him and Bryzgalov to Perry on the doorstep for the one-timer. Gorgeous. It's 1-0 on Perry's 35th of the year (third in the league).
1:05 - Nice steal by Getzlaf in the Phoenix end sets up a cross-ice pass from Perry that skips under Ryan's blade.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:08 p.m. - Another great job on the anthem by Dawn Wright, whom we haven't had in here in awhile. Good to see her back.
Blake back in the lineup after missing four games with a right hand laceration. Starters in bold/italics.