Sunday’s game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim was a goaltenders duel between the Coyotes Sean Burke and the Ducks Jean-Sebastien Giguere._ On this night, it was the veteran Burke who came out as the winner.
The Coyotes used a 31-save effort from Burke and an early first period goal by Ladislav Nagy to earn a 2-0 win over the Mighty Ducks in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at the Arrowhead Pond._ Phoenix improved their record to 2-0-0-0 on the young season, while Anaheim fell to 0-3-0-0.
“Once again we had a solid effort and did the unpleasant things that win hockey games,” said Coyotes head coach
Bob Francis._ “We just have to stay focused on what we need to do on the ice to have success and we are well aware of the early season predictions._ The guys are playing well and having some fun right now and we need to continue to have strong efforts from everyone.”
The Coyotes took a one-goal lead into the third period, but Anaheim battled back outshooting Phoenix 14-3 in the final period._ Burke turned aside all 14 shots, including several chances in the final minute of regulation, on his way to his 34th career shutout and 15th as a member of the Coyotes._
“The final minute of a one-goal hockey game can be intense,” said Burke._ “They pulled their goaltender and had an extra skater, which created even more traffic in front._ As a goaltender, you just want to stay in position and fight through the bodies in front._ My teammates did a tremendous job not panicking and allowing me to see the shots.”
The opening 20 minutes featured both goaltenders making several quality saves keeping the game scoreless._ Phoenix had the game’s first scoring chance when Shane Doan had a breakaway, but Giguere made the pad save on the Coyotes captain. Burke was just as strong at the other end making a nice glove save on Anaheim center Joffrey Lupul, who had a good scoring chance at the top of the crease.___
The Coyotes kept Giguere busy early in the game, outshooting the Ducks 17-8 in the opening period._ For the second consecutive contest, Phoenix opened the scoring with a power play goal._ Nagy’s wrist shot beat Giguere over his glove hand at 9:27 of the first period giving the Coyotes a 1-0 lead._
“I took a nice pass from Mike (Johnson) and just picked my spot,” said Nagy, who led the team in shots on goal on Friday and has eight shots on goal in two games._ “I have been getting a lot of chances and I was happy one finally went in._ We just have to keep playing hard and good things will happen.”
The two teams played a scoreless second period, but exchanged power play opportunities.__ The Coyotes had two power play chances in the middle period, including a four minute man advantage when Ducks forward Jason Krog was given a double minor for high sticking._ Phoenix was able to successfully defend all three Anaheim power plays in the middle period.
Daymond Langkow capped off the Coyotes win with an empty net goal with five seconds remaining in the third period assisted by Mike Johnson._ Johnson finished the game with two assists.
The Coyotes continue their three game road trip in Florida with games against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday and the Tampa Bay Lighting on Thursday._ Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net Arizona and on KDUS – AM 1060.
NEWS AND NOTES
500 NHL GAMES – Coyotes defenseman Cale Hulse celebrated a milestone on Sunday night playing in his 500th career National Hockey League game._ The Calgary, Alberta native is in his ninth professional season and was signed by the Coyotes as a free agent this past summer.
“It is amazing how fast time goes by,” said Hulse, who spent the previous three seasons with the Nashville Predators._ “I remember my first game like it was yesterday and hopefully there will be 500 more games before I am done._ I know the honor really means a lot to my dad and friends back home.”
SOLID DEFENSE – Phoenix defenseman Ossi Vaananen played a steady game defensively on Sunday earning the game’s third star._ Vaananen finished the game with a plus/minus rating of +1 and received 17:05 of ice time._ He led the team in minutes played on the penalty kill with 4:18 of ice time._ Vaananen helped the Coyotes penalty killing unit successfully defend all five power plays against on Sunday.
SHOOT THE PUCK – The Coyotes recorded a season high for shots on goal in a period when they registered 17 in the first period of Sunday’s game._ Doan led the team in shots on goal with six against the Ducks, including four in the first period.
SAME LINEUP – Phoenix went with the same lineup Sunday that earned the team two points in the standings on Friday night._ Forwards Daniel Cleary and Andrei Nazarov were the healthy scratches, while goaltender Zac Bierk was the extra goaltender._