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Coyotes let three-goal lead slip away, drop season opener to Ducks

Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry, center, attempts a shot for a goal on Arizona Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue, right, while defended by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

With a new era of Coyotes hockey getting underway with the season-opener in Anaheim on Thursday night, it was fitting that Arizona’s youth took center stage.

Unfortunately, for the Coyotes, the show didn’t end as well as it started.

Arizona’s young players took turns lighting the lamp through and beyond the game’s halfway point, but the Ducks battled back from a 4-1 deficit to beat Arizona by a score of 5-4 in the two teams’ 2017-18 season opener in Anaheim.

It was at the 4:44 mark in the first period that 22-year-old Anthony Duclair exchanged passes with Alex Goligoski and fired a shot past John Gibson for the game’s first goal to make it 1-0 Arizona.

Gibson, Anaheim’s netminder, finished the evening with 26 saves on 30 shots.

Minutes later, Goligoski got another assist, this time on his pass to rookie Clayton Keller, who tucked it in net for the Coyotes’ second goal.

Though a goal by Corey Perry sliced the ‘Yotes lead in half before the first intermission, second-period goals from Max Domi and Christian Fischer made it 4-1 Arizona by the 13:50 mark in the second period.

Then, the momentum started to swing the other way.

By the time the second intermission rolled around, Perry netted his second goal of the night and Ondrej Kase got on the board to make it 4-3 Coyotes. What looked to be a blowout was now a nailbiter.

The fun was all Anaheim’s in the final 20 minutes of play. Andrew Cogliano and Rickard Rakell scored at 13:45 and 16:30, respectively, and the Ducks had their first lead of the night, 5-4.

That was where the score would remain. Louis Domingue, in net for starter Antti Raanta (lower-body), stopped 36 of the 41 shots he faced.

The Coyotes will look to turn things around and get their first win of the new season when they face the Vegas Golden Knights in Arizona’s home opener on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 6 p.m.

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