Tonight’s match up was the final regular season game for the Anaheim Ducks, and nothing seemed to go their way. From hitting 4 posts, and taking unwarranted penalties, the Ducks were finally defeated in the shootout 5-4. Although they lost, Anaheim never gave in to the pressure that the Coyotes were applying. Jonas Hiller was eventually replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere after giving up 4 goals in the first two periods. The Ducks are one of the top teams in the league lately on the power play, and they certainly showed it, scoring on 3 out of 4 chances.
The lone goal in the first period was scored by Phoenix’s Steven Reinprecht on the power play, after Hiller gave up a rebound. Anaheim had plenty of chances, especially Francois Beauchemin, who hit the post twice. With 3:58 left, Bryzgalove robbed Perry with a sprawling save, in probably one of the best chances of the entire game. Even though Anaheim outplayed Wayne Gretzky’s “desert dogs”, the Coyotes were up 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Corey Perry also showed signs of frustration, as he hit the post just one minute into the second period. On the PP, Erik Christinsen scored after Bryzgalov gave up a rebound. Seizing the opportunity, Christensen wrapped the puck around the net minder’s leg. Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski were credited with the assists. 7 minutes into the second period, Todd Fedoruk scored when Hiller coughed up the puck. Later on, Whitney received a 4 minute penalty. With only about 5 seconds remaining on the penalty, Hiller gave up yet another rebound that Steven Reinprecht stuffed right underneath him, scoring his second goal of the game, both of which came on the power play. Clearly angry with himself, Hiller found a little relief after the puck was poked between his legs, but trickled just wide of the net. Bryzgalov was later sharing Hiller’s frustrations. After he thought he had covered the puck, Corey Perry stuffed the puck in the net for another power play goal with 2 minutes remaining in the period, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Coyotes. Not to be outdone, Enver Lisin returned the favor by scoring with 6 seconds left in the period. It ended with the score of 4-2 Coyotes.
With a much needed break for the Ducks, they came out ready to play. They also came out with a fresh goaltender. Bobby Ryan scored a goal on a PP just 5:02 into the third period, as he slipped the puck just underneath Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove. Just about 40 seconds later, Selanne shot the puck from the bottom of the left circle, and it was deflected into the net by a Phoenix defender. The arena was dead silent as the Coyote’s lead was non-existent. Neither team took the lead, and the game was forced into overtime.
The extra period was basically treated as a circus. The first few minutes, plenty of hooks/trips were made. The refs just let the play continue. Each team was eventually given a penalty, but neither one could score.
Perry scored the first goal as the puck slowly rolled under Bryzgalov, and Reinprecht followed up with a shot that was just past the right side of Giguere. Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks roofed the puck into the top left corner of the net, and Shane Doan tied it, giving the game a little bit more life with some extra rounds. Coyote’s Viktor Tikhonov was the only one to score, as he snuck it right past Giguere’s pads. Anaheim officials stayed on the ice, arguing that Tikhonov had touched the puck twice after he stuffed it into the goalie’s pads. The video replay seemed to give some evidence to this, although it was not reviewed. Phoenix Coyotes won the game, 5-4.