Ducks make shutout easy for Hiller

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 07, 2013
Jonas Hiller faced only 18 shots in his first shutout of the season, Corey Perry scored in the first period and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 on Wednesday night for their ninth straight home victory. The teams met for the third straight time in a five-day span, following a pair of 5-4 shootout victories by the Coyotes in Phoenix on Saturday and Monday. This was the first time the Ducks played three consecutive games against one opponent in the regular season. The only other time the Coyotes did it was during a six-day stretch in November 2007 against San Jose, when they lost all three by a combined score of 15-1. The Ducks have the second-best record in the NHL at 16-3-3 and still trail the astounding Chicago Blackhawks by 10 points. Anaheim's start is tied for the best in franchise history after 22 games. The team began its 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship season 15-2-5. Jason LaBarbera made 22 saves for Phoenix, one of them on a penalty shot by Andrew Cogliano at 5:17 of the second period. It was the 33-year-old journeyman's third start in net this season, including back-to-back losses to San Jose and Los Angeles in late January. LaBarbera's only victory came in relief, when he stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 5-1 win against Columbus after Mike Smith came out midway through the first period with an upper-body injury. The Ducks outshot Phoenix 6-0 over the first 9 1/2 minutes, taking the lead at the 7:10 mark when Bobby Ryan set up Perry in the low slot for his seventh goal. The play began when Ryan Getzlaf intercepted a poor clearing pass by defenseman Derek Morris in the neutral zone and carried the puck into the Phoenix zone before giving it to Ryan in the right circle. Ryan, a longtime fixture on the Ducks' top line with Getzlaf and Perry, was back in familiar territory because of Kyle Palmieri's upper-body injury. Palmieri, whose hat trick helped the Ducks beat Nashville on Feb. 27, missed his second straight game after taking a hard check from Raffi Torres on Saturday. Cogliano, who had a hat trick against the Coyotes in Saturday's loss, found himself on a breakaway during a power play in the second period with a chance to double the Ducks' margin. But defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson impeded him from behind with his stick, making Cogliano fan on an attempted wrist shot as LaBarbera covered the puck. Cogliano was awarded his second career penalty shot, which LaBarbera easily stopped. Phoenix captain Shane Doan was still serving his tripping penalty when the Coyotes left Perry unchecked about 10 feet from the right of the net. But the 2011 MVP, who had a career-high 50 goals two seasons ago, hit the crossbar at 5:33 of the period. Getzlaf scored into an empty net with 21 seconds to play. NOTES: Hiller's shutout was the 16th of his career. ... The Ducks and Coyotes don't meet again until the regular-season finale for both clubs on April 27 at Anaheim. ... Phoenix will play Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles three times in an eight-day stretch later this month. Anaheim will face Dallas in each of their first three games in April. ... The Ducks, who came in with a league-best 29.7 conversion percentage on the power play, were 0 for 1. It was the 12th time in their last 14 games that they had fewer than four power-play opportunities, but they have scored 12 goals with the man advantage during that stretch. ... Coyotes RW Nick Johnson has no penalty minutes in 16 games with the team. Last season with Minnesota, he had 45 in 77 games - including three fighting majors (Jarome Iginla, Kevin Bieksa and Travis Turnbull), and a match penalty for head-butting Iginla during their brawl. ... The longest home winning streak in Ducks history was 11 games during the 2009-10 season. They can tie that mark by beating Calgary on Friday and St. Louis on Sunday.
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