Short-handed Ducks rally past Coyotes 5-4
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks opened their quest for a sixth consecutive Pacific Division title with five players on injured reserve.
In addition, longtime captain Ryan Getzlaf was scratched Thursday after missing the team’s morning skate because of a lingering lower-body injury.
Stacked odds? Maybe not.
Rickard Rakell scored the game-winning goal with 3:30 remaining, and Anaheim rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams at Honda Center.
Rakell blasted a shot through the glove of goaltender Louis Domingue as Anaheim won from three down in a season opener for the first time in club history.
Corey Perry scored twice, while Ondrej Kase and Andrew Cogliano each recorded a goal for the Ducks. Cogliano’s tally came with 6:15 remaining — a deflection in front off an assist by Perry — to make it 4-4.
“That’s not the way we wanted to start a hockey game,” Perry said. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do. The last eight minutes of the second period, we started to find our legs and started getting involved emotionally. It carried over into the third period.
“There are a lot of guys sitting out right now. We’re a team that has a lot of youth in the lineup. A lot of new faces and a lot of guys playing different roles.”
John Gibson made 26 saves for Anaheim. Rakell assisted on both Perry goals, and Cogliano also had two assists.
Rookie center Clayton Keller, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 draft, scored his first career goal in his fourth game for Arizona, which scored twice on its first six shots. Rookie Christian Fischer scored his fourth career goal in his eighth contest for the Coyotes.
Domingue made 36 saves.
Max Domi added a goal and an assist, and Anthony Duclair also scored for the Coyotes, who went 12-24-5 on the road last season. Defenseman Alex Goligoski had three assists.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was happy to have Perry play a familiar role — scorer — after a sub-par 2016-17 season saw the winger score only 19 goals.
“We believe in Corey Perry,” Carlyle said. “The commitment we’re trying to portray to him is, if he plays in a top role and continues to do the things we ask him to, we think he’s going to score goals. It’s our job to prop him up, not tear him down.”
Said Cogliano: “You want (Perry) to feel it. When he does, he usually keeps it going. We’re a team here, and we need contributions from each guy. One night, it might be him or it might be another guy. He did a great job tonight. He was around the puck all night.”
Duclair and Keller scored in the first 8:32 for a 2-0 Arizona lead. Duclair worked a give-and-go with Goligoski and slid the puck into the open side of the net at 4:44 before Keller collected a loose puck in front of Gibson and easily scored.
“It was good,” Keller said of his personal milestone. “Our team is more important, so I’m not really worried about my performance.”
Perry cut the deficit in half at 9:16 of the first period. He held the puck through the right faceoff circle and beat Domingue high to the blocker side.
Domi and Keller scored power-play goals 5:30 apart midway through the second period to give Arizona a 4-1 lead. Domi slammed home a rebound of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot. Keller tipped in Brendan Perlini’s drive at 13:50.
“Up 4-1 and we started to back off,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “It’s hard to win in this league, really hard. You’ve got to be able to play hard, and I thought we started to back up.”
Perry and Kase scored 31 seconds apart, with Kase’s tally — the sixth of his career — coming at 15:54 of the second to make it 4-3. Perry redirected Rakell’s goalmouth feed in heavy traffic between Ekman-Larsson and Domingue. Kase beat Domingue high to the glove slide from the slot after accepting a feed from Jakob Silfverberg.
NOTES: Anaheim C Andrew Cogliano continued his consecutive-games streak by playing in his 787th straight contest. He has never missed a game in his career. Cogliano’s streak is the fourth-longest in NHL history. Doug Jarvis holds the record with 964 straight games. ... The Ducks scratched LW Giovanni Fiore and D Jaycob Megna. The Coyotes’ scratches were C Zac Rinaldo, C Nick Cousins and D Adam Clendening. ... Anaheim owns a 71-35-19 record in the series. ... Los Angeles Angels 1B C.J. Cron ignited comedic backlash from local fans on social media, writing “Coyotes opening night! Let’s go Yotes!” on Twitter moments into the game.