ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks started well,
struggled in the middle and then padded their lead at the end to
pull out a win.
"I thought the first period was excellent and we were terrible
in the second. In the third period, we found a way to get the job
done and that was the difference," Anaheim's Teemu Selanne said
after the Mighty Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-3 Sunday.
"It was good enough to win the game. That's all that matters,"
Geoff Sanderson's power-play goal for Phoenix with 5:39
remaining narrowed the gap to 4-3, but the Ducks and goaltender
Ilja Bryzgalov, starting for the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere,
made the lead stand up.
Anaheim got the eventual deciding goal on rookie Jonathan
Hedstrom's first NHL tally with 15:19 left.
Rob Niedermayer added a power-play goal with 34 seconds
remaining on an assist from his brother, Scott. Phoenix goaltender
David LeNeveu was heading for the bench when the Ducks regained
control of the puck.
"We came out pretty hard then had a bit of a letdown in the
second period," Rob Niedermayer said. "But we battled hard in the
Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky pulled goalie Curtis Joseph after
the first period, going to LeNeveu.
Gretzky was speechless after the game -- he was hoarse from
yelling and didn't talk to reporters.
Hedstrom gave the Ducks a 4-2 lead while Anaheim was
short-handed. The Ducks won a faceoff deep in the Phoenix end, and
LeNeveu stopped consecutive shots by Keith Carney and Samuel
Pahlsson. The puck dribbled into the crease and Hedstrom poked it
Leclerc had pulled the Coyotes within 3-2 against his former
team by scoring his third goal of the season -- and second of the
game -- with four seconds remaining in the second period.
He scored Phoenix's first goal six minutes earlier, 11 seconds
into a power play.
"It was kind of weird, coming back to the place you called home
for eight years, spending your whole career, and seeing the guys
you played with," said Leclerc, dealt to Phoenix in August. "Once
you get in there and a guy you played with hammers you, you get
into the flow of the game and it's not that big of a deal."
McDonald gave Anaheim a three-goal pad by notching a power-play
tally with one second remaining in the period. He zipped down the
slot, took a centering pass from Joffrey Lupul and banged the puck
Sykora got things started for the Ducks 9:56 in when he wristed
a shot toward the left post as Joseph sprawled the other way.
After Sykora scored his second goal of the season, Selanne made
it 2-0 at 17:29 when he knocked in a rebound of a shot by Ryan
Getzlaf for his fifth goal.
Joseph is still one win short of becoming the ninth NHL
goalie with 400 wins. ... The Ducks returned home after dropping
three straight on the road. It was Anaheim's second win in seven
games. ... Anaheim LW Todd Fedoruk was in Philadelphia to attend
the funeral of his father-in-law. He's expected to be back for
Tuesday night's game against Los Angeles. ... Ducks C Sergei
Fedorov sat out his fifth consecutive game with a groin injury. ...
Getzlaf had two assists.