Zegras scores in OT, Ducks top Coyotes for 3rd straight win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for his 18th goal.
“That was all Mr. Klingberg,” Zegras said. “I was actually pretty shocked that he dropped it to me, and I had the whole net to shoot at, so cheers to him.”
It concluded a particularly frantic overtime where Cam Fowler and Frank Vatrano each had breakaways for the Ducks, who have won four of their past five games, and John Gibson made a sprawling glove save to prevent Nick Schmaltz from scoring on a 2-on-1.
“Hey, that’s the way they gets sometimes,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “It was end to end. That save Gibby made should be on every highlight reel for the rest of the year every night. But, yeah, an exciting overtime on an exciting night.”
Max Jones also scored, and Gibson made 32 saves as the Ducks went into their bye week with a rare sustained stretch of success.
“We’re finding a little groove right now, and we just got to keep on moving forward with it,” Jones said.
Nick Ritchie scored and Connor Ingram made a career-high 43 saves for the Coyotes. They have the third-worst record in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Ducks.
“I think the more the game went on, the better we were,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “There is a lot of positives, especially in the second part of the game.”
It was the last game before the All-Star break for both teams, who are firmly in contention to win the NHL draft lottery and select Connor Bedard with the first overall pick in June.
But neither team seemed interested in packing it in, especially after Zegras received a 10-minute misconduct for cross-checking Barrett Hayton during a power play. Zegras also said something during the ensuing scrum that made usually zen defenseman Troy Stecher irate.
Zegras has not been happy with the Coyotes since Anaheim forward Troy Terry sustained facial injuries in a fight with then-Arizona center Jay Beagle last April after coming to Zegras’ defense.
Eakins was fine with the spicy play from Zegras, who has 42 points through 50 games.
“I said it to (assistant coach) Newell Brown on the bench, he’s got them,” Eakins said. “He’s right in their head. They’re all messed up, and they’re going to be even madder when he scores the winner. And that’s what happened.”
WALKING THE LINE
Eakins doesn't believe Zegras is making himself a target for opposing teams with his flamboyant approach to the game.
“He hasn't done anything crazy,” Eakins said. “I got no problem with Z's play. He's a competitive kid. He uses a lot of words out there, and whatever it takes to win, that's what you got to roll with."
Ingram lost despite allowing two goals or fewer for the third time in his past six starts, which reflects his continuing development as an NHL shot stopper.
“He was definitely our best player tonight,” Tourigny said.
Klingberg had two assists for the third time this season. … Coyotes F Christian Fischer got his 50th career assist in 368 games. … Ducks D Kevin Shattenkirk missed his second straight game because of a lower-body injury.
Coyotes: Host Minnesota on Monday, Feb. 6.
Ducks: At Dallas on Monday, Feb. 6.
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Dan Greenspan, The Associated Press