It was bound to happen at some point.
After 11 straight games with a point at Jobing.com Arena to start the 2013-14 season, the Phoenix Coyotes finally fell in regulation, as the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks knocked them off 4-2 Saturday night.
Dustin Penner, now in his second stint with the Ducks, scored twice, including one of three tallies in the second period, as Dave Tippett’s squad failed to beat the Ducks for the third consecutive time this season.
While goaltender Mike Smith stopped a second-period penalty shot by Emerson Etam, his defense left him out to dry on more than one occasion in the two-goal loss.
Penner’s first goal of the night came on a power play opportunity in the first period, after Derek Morris left him all alone in the slot to finish off a beautiful pass from Cam Fowler.
After Mike Ribeiro briefly tied the game in the second frame with his seventh goal of the season, Penner found the back of the net on an odd-man rush. After a puck got cleared to center ice, Rob Klinkhammer found himself tied up with Ryan Getzlaf. Klinkhammer fell to the ice, while Penner and Getzlaf continued towards the goal on a 2-on-1 break. Unsure which potent scorer to come out on and defend, a back-pedaling Morris failed to commit to either, and Penner took advantage with a wrister from just inside the left circle.
Anaheim extend its lead to three goals just minutes later, after an Oliver Ekman-Larsson pass failed to clear the Coyotes’ defensive zone. Instead, the puck hit off Antoine Vermette and fell right onto Getzlaf’s stick. He promptly found Corey Perry, and the former MVP weaved his way through Vermette and Michael Stone before beating Smith on an easy wrist shot.
Shane Doan extended his point streak to eight games with a power play goal in the third period. The Coyotes’ captain now has 11 goals on the year, two less than he had all of 2012-13.
Phoenix has scored on the power play in four straight games.
Although not entirely his fault, Mike Smith allowed four goals in back-to-back games at home for the first time all season. Smith was pulled after two periods, as Tomas Greiss received the nod to start the third. Greiss stopped all four shots he faced.
Of Phoenix’s nine losses — in regulation or overtime — three have come to Anaheim.
– Martin Hanzal suffered a lower body injury in the second period and did not return to action. Hanzal currently leads the team with 19 points.
– With the loss, Phoenix moved out of the top three in the Western Conference and currently holds the second Wild Card spot.
– The last time Anaheim failed to record a point at Jobing.com Arena was March 31, 2012.
The Coyotes will embark on a short two-game road trip, starting Monday night against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Phoenix beat Nashville 5-4 in a shootout in the teams’ prior meeting on Oct. 31. The puck drops at 6:00 p.m. MST, and the game can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.