The Anaheim Ducks win 2-0 in their third game against the Phoenix Coyotes in five days. The Ducks lost the first two games 5-4 respectively, both ending in shootouts.
The shut out win Wednesday was much needed for the Ducks, who had lost two-in-a-row for the first time all season leading up to the third game with the Coyotes. The Ducks have had a great start to the year, leading the Pacific Division by nine points over last year’s Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings.
The Ducks would be the talk of the NHL if it wasn’t for the ridiculous start by the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have gained atleast one point in every game this season, and have yet to lose in regulation.
Vikot Fasth has been the story of the Ducks success to start the year, as the 30-year-old rookie is 9-1-1 in 12 appearances with a 2.08 goals against average. Jonas Hiller missed a few games in January, but has been great since returning to the team.
Hiller was in net last night and grabbed his first shutout of the season on 18 saves. Corey Perry opened up the scoring for the Ducks just seven minutes into the first period. Perry’s goal was enough to hold back the Coyotes, and Ryan Getzlaf made sure of it with an empty net goal late in the third.
The Phoenix Coyotes have played very well this year in comparison to their struggles in the early 2000’s that made them practically invisible within the hockey community. With 25 points on the season, the Coyotes currently hold onto the seventh spot in the Western Conference.
If the Coyotes success holds up as we near the end of a lockout-shortened season, they will make the playoffs for the fourth straight season after missing out every year from 2002 to 2009. The Coyotes lost in the conference finals last season to the Kings before they went on to win the Cup.
The Anaheim Ducks finished fifth in the Pacific in 2012 and failed to make the playoffs. The Ducks have only lost three games in regulation this season to turn the page from last year. The Ducks win 2-0 and have to be excited to get away from the surging Coyotes. The two teams will not cross paths again until the last day of the regular season in a battle before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.