Ducks are full of suspense in 3-2 victory over Phoenix

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By Helene Elliott
Los Angeles Times

October 17, 2010

For a team still finding its stride, squandering a two-goal lead two games in a row could have been a deeply deflating blow to its confidence.

But instead of duplicating the collapse that consigned them to a loss to Atlanta on Friday, the Ducks on Sunday ignored history and the facial injury that took impressive rookie defenseman Cam Fowler out of the game and eked out a 3-2 victory over the division rival Phoenix Coyotes.

“It shows we’re gritty,” said winger Bobby Ryan, who assisted on all three goals and made an extraordinary effort to begin the play that turned into Corey Perry’s winner, at 14:23 of the third period.

“We make it interesting. Repetitive, I guess, as well.”

Coach Randy Carlyle could probably do with a lot less suspense.

“I don’t have any cuticles left,” he said. “It got to a hairy point there.”

Goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 36 shots, including 15 of 17 in the third period, as the Ducks (2-3-1) finished their first homestand of the season feeling better about themselves than when it began. They begin a four-game trip Wednesday at Columbus.

“It’s not how we plan it but those things happen. Bounces go other ways,” Perry said. “Things happen in a game, but we found a way to win tonight and that’s how we’ve got to keep the momentum and keep it going.”

They managed to hold on despite losing Fowler to a cut and possibly broken nose in the second period. The 18-year-old rookie, who had scored his first NHL goal on a 60-foot shot past a harried Jason LaBarbera at 3:41 of the period, seemed determined to score again five minutes later, eluding two defenders and trying to beat a third when he was taken into the boards behind the net by Coyotes forward Shane Doan.

The hit