Anaheim Ducks Fall 2-1 in Shootout to Arizona Coyotes

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Dec 27, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (left) and center Ryan Getzlaf in the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 2-1 in an overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks came out of the holiday break on a sluggish note, falling 2-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in a shootout. The Ducks have now alternated wins and losses in their past six games, going 3-2-1 in that stretch. The Ducks are now 23-8-6, but they still lead the league with 52 points.

The Ducks opened the scoring at the 9:16 mark of the first period. Ryan Getzlaf barreled into the offensive zone with the puck through four Coyotes skaters and left a pass for Rene Bourque, who crashed the net and got the puck past Devan Dubnyk to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. The goal was Bourque’s second of the season, while the assist made Getzlaf the fifth player to reach the 40 point mark this season.

However, the Coyotes would respond almost immediately. Just 73 seconds after the Bourque goal, the Coyotes would strike to tie the game. As the Coyotes got a cycle going in the Ducks’ zone, defenseman Zbynek Michalek got a pass from Martin Erat and blasted a shot past Frederik Andersen to tie the score at one. Sam Gagner, who recorded a secondary assist on the play, set a screen going across the crease. The goal was Michalek’s first of the season.

Regulation, and even overtime were not enough for the game. The two teams went to the shootout, but neither Dubnyk nor Andersen conceded a goal through the first three rounds. Andersen stopped Mikkel Boedker, Gagner, and Antoine Vermette, while Dubnyk stopped Dany Heatley, Jakob Silfverberg, and Ryan Kesler. In the fourth round, Shane Doan snapped his stick while attempting a shot. Andersen stopped the stick blade, but the puck trickled through. On the other end, Dubnyk stopped Getzlaf to give the Coyotes the win.

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Overall, the game was sluggish. The Ducks outshot the Coyotes 36-29, but many of those chances were one-and-done opportunities. The Ducks were unable to establish strong offensive chances, outside of the third line. The Ducks also only won 37.7% of their faceoffs and were under 40% in all six situations (even strength, power-play, shorthanded, offensive zone, defensive zone, and neutral zone). Basically, even if the Ducks had an opportune chance, they were unable to control the puck after a stoppage.

Here are my three stars of the game.