One game down, two to go. Clearly the Ducks will need to do better than their first effort that ended up in a 5-4 loss in shootout to the Phoenix Coyotes.
You would think a hat trick from Andrew Cogliano would have propelled the team forward to another win, but no such luck. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith had a lot to do with the Phoenix win, as well. Smith stopped 31 shots including all three Anaheim shots in the shootout.
Cogliano caught Smith just :21 seconds into the game to make it 1-0. A power play saw Anaheim spend the entire two minutes in the Coyotes zone. They garnered eight shots on goal, but Smith refused to yield.
The momentum from that penalty kill carried over and Phoenix tied up the game at 10:30. Matthew Lombardi was the beneficiary of a weird bounce off the boards. The puck went straight to his stick and then he put it behind Viktor Fasth.
For a long time neither side looked like they were going to budge or give up any goals. Then that changed quickly.
Lauri Korpikoski got the first of two goals at 12:32 of the second period. The puck hit the crossbar and went in behind Fasth. Cogliano tied up the game again just :27 seconds later.
The hat trick happened at 17:26 and Cogliano looked like a one man wrecking crew. It was Cogliano's second hat trick. His first came against Phoenix last season.
"I can't really explain it," said Cogliano. "I felt like our line was playing well and I was shooting the puck and finding the net. One was a pretty nice shot and then I was in the right spot found a way under (Smith) twice."
As much as Cogliano enjoys playing against Phoenix, Korpikoski enjoys playing against Anaheim.
The Ducks were not ready to start the third period, clearly evidence that they were tired playing the second of back to back games. Korpikoski got his second of the night just :15 seconds in. Tie game again.
Saku Koivu scored a power play goal at 6:25 to give the Ducks back the lead, but Phoenix was relentless. They outshot Anaheim 17-7 in the third and were rewarded for their perseverence.
Steve Sullivan tied up the game at 4-4, forcing the game into overtime. The Ducks could not convert on a power play opportunity in the extra period and in the shootout Smith clamped down hard for the extra point.
Sullivan was the only scorer for Phoenix, but that was enough to win the game with Smith stopping everything else.
"We want to be greedy and get the two points every chance you get, but in the last 10 minutes they were the better team," coach Bruce Boudreau conceded. "It was an entertaining game, just a little sloppy."
The Ducks cannot be that sloppy or tired in their next two games against the Coyotes. Otherwise Phoenix will happily gobble up those precious points in the Pacific Division.
In other notes: Kyle Palmieri, who had a hat trick a couple games ago, was lost from the line up in the first period after suffering an upper body injury.