Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/1/12
GLENDALE, Ariz. Andrew Cogliano wants to shoot more. With results like he had Tuesday against Phoenix, the temptation will be to shoot too much. The fifth-year Anaheim forward netted his first career hat trick in a six-minute, 51-second span of the second period to lift the red-hot Ducks to a 4-1 win over the Coyotes. The three goals came uninterrupted, giving him an NHL rarity: the natural hat trick. "The big thing is that really played a big role in winning the game for the team," Cogliano said. Jovial Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau agreed, but he couldn't help noticing another facet of Cogliano's feat. "Goals are goals but it might have been the ugliest hat trick I've ever seen," Boudreau said. Cogliano wasn't arguing. On the first one, Phoenix goalie Mike Smith got trapped behind the net while playing the puck. Ducks forward Matt Beleskey won the battle for the loose puck with Phoenix defenseman Chris Summers and centered a pass right past Coyotes center Daymond Langkow for an easy Cogliano tap-in. "Every really great puck handler that's a goalie loves to handle the puck and always thinks they can make the play that nobody else can make," Boudreau mused. "I think he was out there trying to do that and they make mistakes every couple games like that so you've got to go right at him." Cogliano did just that. On the second goal, he beat Smith under the arm, on the short side from a horrid angle on the deep left wing for a 2-1 lead. On the final goal, Cogliano took what appeared to be an offside feed from forward Nick Bonino and slipped a weak backhand between Smith's pads that led Coyotes coach Dave Tippett to yank Smith in favor of backup Jason LaBarbera. "I was just trying to shoot everything at that point," Cogliano said, smiling. "I caught Smith, obviously, off guard with a couple of the shots. Those probably won't go in every night." It was one of several breaks Anaheim enjoyed, including a disallowed Phoenix goal early in the third period where officials ruled center Martin Hanzal was in the crease, even though there is no such specific rule on the books any more. "You could probably find five goals in the league (like that) that would be called goals, unfortunately that one got called back," Tippett said. "What compounded the problem was that their third goal was offsides. So you get one called back and one that's offsides, you take those away and you have a 2-2 game." Anaheim has been getting those kinds of breaks during this 9-1-1 streak that has breathed life into a team that had the second-worst record in the NHL on Jan. 4. The Ducks have also been getting production from their third and fourth lines to help offset uneven recent scoring from stars Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. "It's so important," Boudreau said. "When you can get them not putting points on the board and getting the other lines scoring and contributing, it's a massive advantage." An advantage the Ducks hope might rally them into playoff contention after an ultimatum issued by general manager Bob Murray in which he warned that nobody on the team outside Selanne and Koivu was exempt from possible trades. "We've got to do it for the last 50 games because we've put ourselves in such a hole," said Boudreau, whose team still trails Minnesota by 10 points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Cogliano couldn't remember another natural hat trick in his lifetime. He remembers scoring four goals in a game in juniors, but he's not certain they came in succession. "You never really think going into a game that you're going to get a hat trick," he said. "But it's fun." Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was the last NHL player to do it on Jan. 15 in a win over Tampa. It was the fifth natural hat trick in Ducks' history and the first since Perry turned the trick on Feb. 5, 2011 at Colorado. It was also the first natural hat trick against the Coyotes since Columbus' Matt Calvert did the deed on Feb. 25, 2011. Calvert, incidentally, finished with 11 goals last season, which is how many Cogliano currently has. "I thought Cogs had an extra step tonight before that," Boudreau said of his forward's second-period magic. "When you've got it you're praying to God the stick doesn't break."
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