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(Wednesday, November 23rd)
Final Score: Phoenix 4, Anaheim 2
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Radim Vrbata tallied twice for the second time in three games, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the sliding Ducks in the opener of a three-game homestand.
Vrbata posted two goals in Saturday's 4-2 victory at Buffalo, and his pair Wednesday gave him 11 for the season. The forward has scored in bunches, recording four multi-goal games.
Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson both had a goal and assist for Phoenix, which scored four consecutive goals to build a large lead and got 19 saves from Mike Smith.
"I thought we played a very solid game," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "A couple of breakdowns; we gave up a couple breakaways, which [Smith] came up big on. Other than that, I thought we were pretty solid throughout the game."
Corey Perry and Saku Koivu lit the lamp for Anaheim, which has lost five in a row and 11 of 12. Jonas Hiller allowed four goals on 29 shots.
"Our guys are holding their sticks a little tight," Perry said. "Get back to basics, that's what we're trying to do in the last couple days."
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said his team didn't play with enough physicality.
"We had way too many stick-checks being delivered," Carlyle said. "We were coasting into people and trying to strip people of the puck vs. getting into them physically."
Koivu's transition tip-in only 5:44 into the game put Anaheim on the board, but the Coyotes scored twice later in the period to start taking control.
Yandle and Shane Doan executed a flawless give-and-go after the Ducks changed lines. Doan fed the puck from the low left circle to the inside edge, where Yandle fired a one-timer past Hiller at 13:13.
Vrbata netted his first goal 3:37 later during a power play, thanks to a deft backhand pass by Martin Hanzal -- he picked up a rebound by the right post and managed to thread it through the slot.
Vrbata chipped it from the left circle past Hiller to make it a 2-1 game, then scored late in the second period after the Ducks attempted to clear and change personnel.
Ekman-Larsson caught up to the puck before it got too deep in Phoenix's zone and caught Anaheim out of position with a long pass to a streaking Vrbata, who lit the lamp with 2:29 to play.
Ekman-Larsson scored 4:27 into the third, when his left point shot ricocheted off the skates of two Ducks players and into the net. Anaheim never caught up, getting only Perry's goal later in the period.
Phoenix was 1-for-7 in power play chances...The Coyotes are 2-0 against Anaheim this season...The Ducks start a six-game homestand Friday against Chicago...The Coyotes' homestand continues Friday against Vancouver.
11/24 01:03:42 ET
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