The Phoenix Coyotes are hoping to build on a strong third period
from the first of three consecutive games versus the Anaheim
That could be a tough task against a more rested Ducks team.
The Coyotes again try to cut into Anaheim’s large Pacific
Division lead Monday night when they meet for the second time in
three days in Arizona.
A quirk in the lockout-shortened schedule has given Phoenix
(10-8-3) a golden opportunity to quickly make up some ground. It
moved one point closer to the Ducks (15-3-2) with a 5-4 shootout
win on Saturday, and will have two more chances to chip away Monday
at home and Wednesday at Anaheim.
“They’ve played very well this year and they’re at the top of
our division and we’re trying to scratch and claw and get up
there,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “That’s two valuable
points for us and they’ll be another two valuable points on
The Coyotes looked like they might not get any Friday, trailing
4-3 midway through the third period, but Steve Sullivan netted the
tying goal with 6:29 remaining in regulation and then scored the
lone goal in the shootout.
“The mentality is to play a three-game series,” said Matthew
Lombardi, who scored in the first period. “We won one here. We’ll
put it behind us and get ready for the next one.”
Sullivan had gone 13 games without a goal, and he wasn’t the
only Phoenix player to break out of a prolonged slump. Lauri
Korpikoski scored twice, ending a 10-game stretch without a
Sullivan feels that the Coyotes, who are 8-3-0 in their last 11
at home in this series, may have caught a break with Anaheim
arriving in Arizona late after beating Minnesota 3-2 at home Friday
“They’re not going to be in a back-to-back the next couple of
days, so we wanted to make sure we got some points,” Sullivan
Phoenix took advantage of a weary Ducks team playing for the
fifth time in seven days, outshooting them 17-7 in the third
“Hopefully we can bring the same energy we got in the third to
Monday night,” Korpikoski said.
This time, however, Anaheim will likely be in better shape to
match the Coyotes’ intensity. The Ducks, 12-2-1 since the beginning
of February, have won their last six games preceded by at least one
Some of their players visited the Los Angeles Angels at spring
“We looked and felt as tired as we have all season,” left wing
Bobby Ryan said of Anaheim’s sluggish third period Saturday. “We
were a pretty tired group, you could see it in the legs.”
Andrew Cogliano seemed to have plenty of energy, scoring 21
seconds into the game and adding two more goals in the second
period for his second NHL hat trick. His only other one also came
in Arizona last January.
Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists Saturday, giving him six
points in his last five games.
Anaheim’s Viktor Fasth and Phoenix’s Mike Smith may square off
again Monday, and both are likely eager to get back between the
pipes after subpar showings.
Fasth stopped a career-high 33 shots but lost for the second
time in three games after opening his career with eight straight
wins, while Smith allowed at least four goals for the third time in