Ducks Nearly Give it Away - LA Times

BY foxsports • November 7, 2009

By Robyn Norwood, Los Angeles Times

The Ducks can see .500 from here. But to get there any time soon, they'll have to do it on the road -- and they'll probably need to overcome a habit of playing less than a full 60 minutes.

A four-goal lead in the third period against Phoenix turned into a 4-3 win Saturday in front of 15,269 at the Honda Center. A little shaky, perhaps, but it marked only the second time this season the Ducks have won two games in a row, and improved their record to 6-7-2.

Then again, who is arguing style points five games after a loss to then-winless Toronto?

"We're not going to critique a win," Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We'll take the two points and move on."

A stretch of nine of 10 games at home is over. This week, the Ducks head for a four-game trip that opens against New Jersey and Columbus and finishes with games at Detroit and Pittsburgh, the teams that played for the Stanley Cup last season.

"We'll see where we are on this road trip," captain Scott Niedermayer said. "I think we're headed in the right direction."

The game marked the fourth time in five games since the Toronto loss the Ducks have earned at least a point.

Until the third period, Jonas Hiller was bidding for the Ducks' first consecutive shutouts since the 2006 playoffs, when Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix's goalie Saturday, had three in a row.

That came to an end with the Ducks leading, 4-0, when they made a couple of mistakes that helped Phoenix score twice in 38 seconds.

Phoenix was playing without defenseman Ed Jovanovski, the team's leading goal scorer, who was out because of a lower-body injury.

But Keith Yandle spoiled the shutout at 6:27 after a Ducks turnover, and Scottie Upshall cashed in from close range at 7:05 after more sloppy play by the Ducks.

The Ducks survived a four-on-three power play, but with the Coyotes still holding a man advantage, Shane Doan scored from in front of the net, and the lead was down to one with 5:24 left.

For the second game in a row, Teemu Selanne gave the Ducks an early lead with a power-play goal, scoring his ninth goal, on a wrist shot from the slot off a pass from Niedermayer only 2:49 into the game.

Selanne remains 11th in NHL history in power-play goals, not 10th, as the Ducks earlier announced because of an error in NHL data.

The lead got comfortable in the second period with goals by Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry. Ryan's goal was his sixth, and fifth in the last six games. Perry's was his team-leading 11th and extended his point streak to eight games.

Mike Brown added the final goal in the third, before Phoenix's final challenge.

"For probably 50 minutes of the hockey game we were pretty good," Carlyle said.