Back in the day, the Ducks could pretty much guarantee a win against Phoenix. That hasn't been the case lately, with Phoenix being the team who made the playoffs and the Ducks the ones who stayed home last spring. Nonetheless, the Ducks continued to improve their season with a 3-2 victory that started slow, but improved as time went on.
Although the first period was mostly a yawner, the second period proved much more interesting. Rookie Cam Fowler scored his first ever NHL goal at 3:41 with a shot from the blue line that hit the post and went in. On the next shift, he nearly got his second goal. A few minutes later, Fowler experienced another first - getting creamed by Shane Doan.
Fowler was making another stickhandling run with the puck, making his way past several Coyotes obstacles. He was caught behind the net, though, by Doan, who checked the 18-year-old hard. Fowler was down on the ice for quite a while and bleeding when he finally got up, looking quite dazed. He went straight to the locker room to be evaluated and remained there the rest of the game. At minimum, Fowler had a cut on his nose. Whether or not it was broken remains to be announced.
The Ducks persevered and Toni Lydman, only playing his second game since being cleared from a nasty episode of double vision, got his second goal in as many games at 9:44. Lydman has never had a goal scoring streak in his 10 year career. He has one now and he looks to be having a career year. Anaheim can use the scoring, whereever it comes from.
Taking a 2-0 lead into the third period is no guarantee of a win as Anaheim enjoys playing things on the dangerous edge. They gave up goals to Scottie Upshall at 1:01 and Eric Belanger at 11:19. Gratefully the top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan came through with the game winning goal coming from Perry at 14:23.
Jason LaBarbera, getting the start in the second of back-to-back games for the Coyotes, stopped 32 shots, but could not stop Perry.
Phoenix did all they could do to tie up the game, and no one left the game early. Jonas Hiller did his best work in the final minutes and stopped 36 more shots for the win. He's had to make a total of 215 saves so far in the season.
The win gives the Ducks five out of six points at home before heading out for another road trip. This one takes them to Columbus, Philadelphia, Detroit and Dallas. It just doesn't get any easier, but if the Ducks can play like they have the past three games, at least they will have a better chance of getting points on the road.