Monday, November 24, 2014
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Ducks hang on to beat Coyotes

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[November 24, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks have made overtime part of their routine lately, but Sunday they decided to finish the game off in its regularly scheduled allotment of time.

Anaheim carried play for two periods and fended off a third-period surge to beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 at Honda Center.

"We're still way too tentative in the third period with a lead, but that comes with playing so many overtime games and close games," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith had to be a wall for the first 40 minutes to keep the game close. He ultimately stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced.

"They were dominating us and the only reason it wasn't three or four to nothing after the first was because of him," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle said of his goaltender.

Goalie Frederik Andersen made 26 of 27 saves for Anaheim, including 16 of 17 in the third period to fend off the late push for the equalizer.

Right winger Kyle Palmieri and left winger Patrick Maroon scored for the Ducks, while Yandle netted the Coyotes' lone goal. Maroon also had an assist and center Ryan Kesler added a pair of helpers for Anaheim.

The Ducks dominated possession in a scoreless first period, outshooting the Coyotes 12-4 while drawing the period's only penalty. Newly acquired Ducks left winger Rene Bourque made his presence felt with a crunching hit on center Joe Vitale behind the net at 12:51. Smith made a spectacular lunging save on Kesler's backhand bid one minute later.

"He was awesome for us and we weren't able to help him out," Yandle said.

The Coyotes relied heavily on Smith in the second period as well as they struggled to control the puck. They were outshot again, 13-6, and once again surrendered the only power play of the period. Smith stood tall, stopping 21 straight shots.

It was only when Smith was taken out of a play -- he fell alone behind his net and then defenseman Zbynek Michalek inadvertently pinned him -- that Anaheim finally capitalized on an opportunity. With Smith impeded, the Ducks set up Palmieri for a wrist shot into the abandoned net. The goal came at 14:08 and was Palmieri's second in four games played this season after recovering from an ankle injury.

"He's very good, everyone in the league knows that, at playing the puck," said Palmieri, who also dumped the puck in to start the play. "You want to keep it away from him and I put it right on his tape, but it worked out."

Anaheim added a goal at 17:20 to take a 2-0 lead. A clean faceoff win led to a heavy shot from the right point by defenseman Sami Vatanen. The resultant rebound off Smith's pad was swept in by Maroon for his first goal of the campaign.

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"It was a little bit of a load off, but there's more to my game, I can do it every night," Maroon said.

Arizona had a strong start to the third period that included a power play. They got on the board 8:56 into the final frame when Yandle drifted down low and snapped a wrist shot from right between the two faceoff dots for his third goal of the season.

"As a D-man, you can kind of get lost in there, guys will kind of forget where you are," Yandle said.

The Coyotes drew a penalty 46 seconds later but failed to convert on the ensuing power play. They also concluded the game on a truncated power play, which they played 6-on-4 by pulling Smith from his net. They generated just one shot on net and could not earn the equalizer.

"We came out with a lot of jump and did the things we needed to do from the start of the game, unfortunately it was a little too late," Smith said.

Eight of Anaheim's 10 previous games had gone to overtime or a shootout. They got a regulation win, though perhaps not a full three-period effort.

"We played 40 minutes, now we need to figure out how to finish off a 60-minute game," Maroon said.

NOTES: Sunday's win was just Anaheim's second regulation victory in its last 10 games. ... Attendance was 15928. ... Anaheim LW Rene Bourque, acquired in a trade for D Bryan Allen Thursday, made his Ducks debut, dressing in place of LW Emerson Etem. ... Ducks D Clayton Stoner missed Sunday's game with mumps-like symptoms. He has not been confirmed to have mumps, the ailment that sidelined RW Corey Perry and D Francois Beauchemin recently. D Mat Clark replaced Stoner in the lineup. ... Anaheim C William Karlsson (illness), D Ben Lovejoy (finger), D Mark Fistric (back), LW Dany Heatley (groin) and G John Gibson (groin) were all unavailable Sunday. ... Anaheim returned C/RW Chris Wagner to their AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va. ... Arizona D Brandon Gormley (lower body), C Martin Hanzal (lower body) and RW David Moss (upper body) were out of action Sunday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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