When a team is on a roll like the Anaheim Ducks are, you want to ride the streak out and play as many times as possible. So while with the schedule they played in the first half was particularly wearing , the Ducks were likely hoping the Christmas break wouldn’t interfere with their streak.
It didn’t, as they defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in overtime and extended their winning streak to ten games. After falling behind in their last two games, the Ducks were the team that blew a lead, as they jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead.
All season, you can see the chemistry between Saku Koivu, Daniel Winnik and Andrew Cogliano, but last night might have been their most dominating performance as an unit.
He’s had a huge last three games. That line scored two goals in Washington, three goals tonight, and yet they check the other teams’ top lines all the time. They’re very good.
The line combined for six points, including all three goals as Koivu scored a shorthanded goal in the first and then the overtime winner less than a minute into the extra period.
Winnik registered assist 16 and 17, giving him a new career high in helpers only 40-games into the season. Cogliano now has ten points (4 G, 6 A) in his last nine games.
The Ducks used some home cooking to get out to a fast start, pouring the pressure on the Coyotes, but backup goalie Thomas Greiss held strong during the Anaheim surges.
I thought he was excellent. He made some real big saves for us. We knew they were going to come hard with us being a tired team and he made some key saves at the right time to allow us to get a point
Coyotes’ head coach Dave Tippett on his goalie Greiss.
The Ducks finally got a shot behind him, while on the penalty kill as Koivu scored his sixth of the season on a slap shot while surrounded by Coyotes. Koivu used one of the defenders as a screen and beat a surprised Greiss.
Anaheim made it 2-0 with Cogliano’s 11th goal of the season after he redirected a Winnik slap pass. Koivu got the secondary assist, giving him multi-point games in back to back contest and also in three of the last five games.
Phoenix wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as Martin Hanzal scored his 11th of the season after the puck took a crazy bounce on a Michael Stone dump in and found Hanzal’s stick with an empty net as Jonas Hiller went to play the puck behind the net.
With the goalie pulled, the Coyotes tied it with less than a minute left, as Mike Ribiero deflected a Keith Yandle slap shot from the point and pass Hiller. Phoenix was effective in the third, scoring on four of their six shot attempts.
Not allowing Phoenix to get any momentum in the extra frame, Koivu capped off their tenth straight victory when he tipped in a Ben Lovejoy shot from the point. They also extend their home winning streak, as they continue to be the only team without a regulation loss on their home ice.
I think it’s neat. Any time you can be a part of something nobody else has done, I think it’s a special occasion. I think the number 10 is magic when you get into streaks because it doesn’t happen very often. The last time I did it was in Hershey and we ended winning the cup. The time before was in Mississippi and we won the cup. Hopefully, it’s a good omen.
Boudreau on team’s 10-game winning streak
The Ducks will look to stretch their winning streak to eleven games when they take on the San Jose Sharks, tonight at 7:30 pm PT/10:30 ET.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor at Pucks of a Feather. You can contact him by email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.