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Ducks stay atop NHL with 5-2 win over Coyotes

Posted: November 6, 2013 9:50 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2013 9:50 p.m.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm, of Sweden, celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period.

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Hampus Lindholm scored his first NHL goal, Corey Perry got the tiebreaking goal right before the second-period buzzer, and the Anaheim Ducks stayed atop the league standings with a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.

Ryan Getzlaf, Lindholm and Cam Fowler each had a goal and an assist in Anaheim's triumphant return from a successful eight-game road trip. With their sixth win in seven games, the Ducks (13-3-1) lead the NHL with 27 points.

Perry tipped home Lindholm's shot during a delayed penalty with 1.1 seconds left in the period, and Fowler provided a cushion with the second power-play goal of the night for the Ducks, whose NHL-worst power play had scored just four times all season.

Shane Doan scored and Michael Stone added a power-play goal for the Coyotes, who had won five straight.

Jonas Hiller made 24 saves for the Ducks, perfect in six home games this season. Andrew Cogliano added an empty-net goal with 1:02 to play while limping to the bench after Doan leveled him with a big hit along the far boards.

Mike Smith stopped 24 shots for Phoenix in a lively meeting between two of the NHL's top teams in the first quarter of the season. Phoenix has kept pace in the tough Pacific Division alongside the Ducks and San Jose, but Anaheim is still surging after going 5-2-1 on its longest trip of the season, taking the overall NHL lead.

Even with the NHL's worst power play and the third-worst penalty-killing unit, the Ducks are off to their second straight outstanding start under coach Bruce Boudreau. Anaheim moved to the top of the league standings in the midst of a brutal schedule that includes yet another East Coast road trip after the current three-game homestand.

Doan put the Coyotes ahead in the opening minutes when he slipped between two Ducks defensemen for a breakaway goal on a sharp pass from Mike Ribeiro. Doan squeezed the puck through Hiller for his sixth goal of the season — the fifth in seven games for the 37-year-old stalwart.

The Ducks evened it on the first goal by Lindholm, the 19-year-old rookie defenseman whose surprising emergence has catalyzed Anaheim's fast start. In his 15th NHL game, Lindholm took a pass from Mathieu Perreault in the slot and beat Smith.

Stone put Phoenix back ahead late in a power play midway through the second period, sneaking in for give-and-go pass from David Moss.

Getzlaf evened it moments later with a shot off Martin Hanzal's stick during a two-man advantage for his seventh goal — just the Ducks' fifth power-play goal this season. Anaheim's power play went 1 for 28 on the road trip, dropping to last in the league.

Perry then put the Ducks ahead in the waning seconds, lightly deflecting Lindholm's shot from the blue line with six Ducks skaters on the ice.

Teemu Selanne returned to the Ducks ahead of schedule after missing the final three games of the trip for oral surgery. The Finnish Flash, who was expected to be out for two weeks, lost four teeth and needed 40 stitches after taking an inadvertent high stick from Philadelphia's Luke Schenn.

Phoenix played without defenseman Derek Morris, who incurred a lower-body injury in Tuesday's win over Vancouver. The Coyotes then lost right wing Radim Vrbata to a lower-body injury during the game.

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