GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- After reaching the Western Conference
finals last spring, the Anaheim Ducks began this season with lofty
They've done nothing to dispel them so far.
Behind Ilya Bryzgalov's 34 saves, the Ducks improved to 2-0 with
a 2-1 victory over Phoenix Saturday night. Teemu Selanne and Dustin
Penner each scored for Anaheim, which beat Los Angeles 4-3 one
"In our minds, we didn't play a very complete game [Friday]
night, but we were a better team tonight," coach Randy Carlyle
said. "It's only the second game of the year. I think every team
is still a work in progress. We're no different. Our work ethic has
been strong and that's what we're going to continue to build on."
Zbynek Michalek scored the only goal for the Coyotes.
The Ducks have enjoyed some superb goaltending in the season's
first week. Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 41 saves, including 22 in
the first period, in Anaheim's opening 4-3 victory over Los Angeles
on Friday night.
Giguere could have played against the Coyotes, but Carlyle
decided to give him the night off and start Bryzgalov.
That was a smart move, given Bryzgalov's record against Phoenix.
He's 6-0 against the Coyotes.
"I don't think about who we play against," Bryzgalov said. "I
just try to do the best that I can, and stop the puck, and help to
win the game."
The Ducks dropped the "Mighty" from their name and changed
their colors in the offseason, switching from purple and teal to
black and orange. But they look the same to the Coyotes.
The Ducks went 7-0-1 against Phoenix last season. And they
wasted little time re-establishing their dominance.
"This team is one of the best teams in hockey," Phoenix coach
Wayne Gretzky said. "They're physical, they're fast, they're
unselfish. They're getting good goaltending."
After Phoenix center Jeremy Roenick drew a roughing penalty, the
Ducks took a 1-0 lead on Selanne's power-play goal at 2:15 of the
The Coyotes sliced the lead to 2-1 on Michalek's power-play goal
with 8 minutes left in the second period. The goal came on a
two-man advantage, with Michalek taking a pass from Keith Ballard
and beating Bryzgalov on a wrist shot from between the circles.
But it wasn't enough to overcome the Ducks' early advantage.
"If you spot that team two goals, you are going to be in
trouble," Phoenix winger Shane Doan said.
It was a testy, physical game between Pacific Division rivals,
who combined for 46 penalty minutes.
In the first period, Phoenix's new tough guy, Georges Laraque,
took exception to a hard check by Todd Fedoruk, and the two fought
along the boards. In the second, the Coyotes' Dave Scatchard
brawled with Shane O'Brien.
The Coyotes had a scare when Ladislav Nagy, who missed 29
games with a knee injury last year, crumpled to the ice and grabbed
his left knee after a center-ice collision with Samuel Pahlsson.
Nagy returned to the ice minutes later. ... A survey by Team
Marketing Reports found that the Coyotes' average ticket price,
$25, is the NHL's lowest. ... The Ducks have upgraded a team that
finished with the most wins (43) and points (98) in team history.
They acquired defenseman Chris Pronger, the former league MVP and
Norris Trophy winner, in a trade with Edmonton. He joins another
Norris winner, Scott Niedermayer, on the back line.