The tone was set early, when Jonas Hiller withstood an early barrage of shots, and continued long after Ryan Getzlaf left the ice spilling blood from his forehead.
There were some ugly moments to be sure, but the Ducks had to be pleased with a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. Goals by Luca Sbisa (his first in the NHL), Joffrey Lupul and Corey Perry completed the scoring in the first period.
“I’m sure it probably wasn’t our best start, but we were able to brush
it off and found a way to score,” Hiller said after an outstanding 31-save effort, “and at the end everyone was playing well
and sacrificing for the team.”
Sbisa’s shot through traffic at 4:38 of the first period stunned a Phoenix team that had outshot Anaheim 6-1 to that point. The Ducks took some momentum from there, getting a sharp-angled shot from Lupul at close range to make it 2-0 at 8:16. Perry stepped into a passing lane in the Coyotes’ zone to intercept a Sami Lepisto pass and fire it past Ilya Bryzgalov (21 saves) for a 3-0 lead at 15:20.
That was the easy part for the Ducks, who were coming off back-to-back losses by three-goal margins.
Getzlaf left the game at 4:31 of the second period when a Shane Doan shot struck him in the forehead, drawing a pool of blood and forcing Getzlaf into the trainer’s room. He did not return to the game. Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters that Getzlaf received
stitches to close a cut “just below the helmet line” of his forehead, though he wasn’t sure how
The Coyotes got their only goal from Doan during a 5-on-3 power play at 15:39 of the second period, one of their two two-man advantages in the game.
In all, Phoenix spent 8:29 on the power play to 5:02 for the Ducks, but 17 blocked shots – including seven by Andreas Lilja alone – ensured that the Coyotes couldn’t get any closer than 3-1.
A few more notes:
D Andy Sutton and C Todd Marchant each were hit with two minor penalties, and both of Sutton’s penalties resulted in the Coyotes’ 5-on-3 power plays.
For the second straight game Bobby Ryan spent plenty of time at center, including some alongside Corey Perry after Getzlaf’s injury. Ryan saw 15:58 of ice time but saw his streak of games without a goal stretch to seven.
George Parros and Paul Bissonnette engaged in a long fight in the first period. A great number of punches were landed by all.
In addition to scoring his first NHL goal, Sbisa landed a team-high four hits.
Perry joined Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Chicago’s Patrick Sharp as the only NHL players with 20 goals this season.
Sheldon Brookbank, Paul Mara and Nick Bonino were scratches for the Ducks.