Whatever mojo the Ducks had working on their 5-1 homestand disappeared somewhere over the skies between Anaheim and Glendale.
Starting in the second period, Phoenix scored four straight goals to break open a 1-1 game and send the Ducks to their second loss in their last eight games.
Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry scored the goals. Jonas Hiller (22 saves on 26 shots) absorbed the loss and was pulled from the game after allowing the Coyotes’ fourth goal. Curtis McElhinney stopped six of eight in relief.
“It was just one of those nights,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters following the game. “I don’t have an explanation for it but we have to find one in a hurry.”
The Ducks host the Edmonton Oilers – who will also be playing on back-to-back nights – at 5 p.m. Sunday.
More interesting than Saturday’s game was the prospect of where the Ducks will begin the 2011-12 seaon.
A team spokesperson confirmed that Anaheim has been invited to participate in the NHL’s Premiere Games next season, as first reported by ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun.
The Ducks have already opened a season in Europe once, at London’s 02 Arena in 2007 with back-to-back games against the Kings. The Kings were also invited to participate in the Premiere Games, an annual tradition that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has no plans to abandon. The Kings have yet to confirm the invitation, but it raises the possibility of another head-to-head matchup between the local rivals overseas.
Edmonton, Washington, the New York Rangers and Boston were the other teams invited to participate, according to the report.