The Ducks have earned some hard fought revenge as they beat the Phoenix Coyotes tonight in Anaheim, 2-0.
Despite dominating the Coyotes for the first two periods of the game the Ducks would only score once, as Corey Perry would score about a third of the way into the first period. Bobby Ryan, (reunited on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry), would get a beautiful pass to Perry just across the crease that Perry would sneak past Phoenix goaltender Jason Labarbera. Perry was hit as he buried the puck, resulting in a goal that NHL.com has now labeled, “The Perry Slide”, (video available here).
After the initial goal the Ducks were unable to find a way past Labarbera despite outshooting the Coyotes through the first two periods, 18-9. In the third period however Phoenix would step up their game, outshooting the Ducks 9-6 and forcing Jonas Hiller to make some great saves. After two periods of Labarbera, Hiller was given his turn to shine, making 18 of 18 stops and earning himself his first shutout of the season.
Ryan Getzlaf would earn the first star of the game with a plus two rating and a well deserved empty net goal that would come in the last minute of the game. Hiller was the game’s second star, and the third star would be awarded to Jason Larbarbera who had a very solid game stepping into the crease to give Mike Smith a much needed break after 15 straight starts.
Bobby Ryan looked very comfortable on the top line and seemed to, without looking, know where Perry and/or Getzlaf would be on the ice. With a plus 2 rating for the Ducks top line tonight, (and being the only line that scored for either team), one wonders if Boudreau will still break move Ryan off the top line whenever Kyle Palmieri returns to the lineup. Ryan’s presence on another line certainly makes the team a deeper offensive threat, but the domination of the top line with Ryan on it is overwhelming and might give Boudreau reason to consider more line changes.
Of the team’s three meetings thus far this season Anaheim has the only win in regulation, and the two teams are now tied as each team has come away from the series thus far with 4 points. The two teams will meet once more this season as both teams will be playing their final game of the season against one another in Anaheim, on April 27th.