GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes got off to a fast start, gave up a goal late in the first period and found themselves trailing after a so-so second.
Coach Rick Tocchet’s message heading into the third period was a simple one: We have to win this game.
Christian Dvorak triggered a three-goal third period by scoring in the opening minute, Antti Raanta stopped 27 shots and the Coyotes rallied for a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
“We came out flying in the period in one of our better periods of the year,” Dvorak said. “It was a good comeback win.”
Lawson Crouse scored in the first period, but Arizona went into the third trailing 2-1.
The Coyotes came out of the locker room buzzing to start the third period and cashed in on Dvorak’s goal. Brad Richardson followed with his second goal and Carl Soderberg had his 12th a minute later.
All 12 Arizona forwards had a point at even strength, helping Arizona win consecutive home games for the first time since mid-November.
“We obviously knew it was a big game for us and we wanted to put some wins together for our fans,” said Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who played his 700th career game. “We came out hard in the third and won the game with one good period.”
Coming off a lopsided loss to Vegas, Anaheim was good early, going up 2-1 on goals by Jakob Silfverberg and Max Jones. It all fell apart in a rash of breakdowns in the third period, sending the Ducks to their sixth loss in eight games. John Gibson gave up four goals for the second straight game.
“I thought it was a really even game through the two periods and obviously the first one in the third hurts greatly,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “Then a broken play on the second one and we just couldn’t get back and get any real quality chances.”
The Coyotes picked up a much-needed win on Tuesday, beating St. Louis 3-1 to end their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Raanta stopped 38 shots against the Blues after giving up 10 combined goals the previous three games.
Gibson was sharp early against the Coyotes, nearly doing the splits to stop Christian Fischer on a two-on-one.
Crouse scored seconds later, though, flipping in his eighth goal when a shot by Phil Kessel took a hard carom off the back boards.
Anaheim tied it with 31 seconds left in the first period, when Silfverberg beat Raanta between the pads for his 15th of the season on a two-on-one with Isac Lundestrom.
Gibson turned away a series of shots early in the second period and Jones put the Ducks up 2-1 by laying his stick on the ice to punch Michael Del Zotto’s cross past Raanta.
Dvorak scored 26 seconds into the third period, beating Gibson on the glove side after Taylor Hall fanned on a shot from the slot.
Arizona continued to pressure the Ducks after the early goal. Clayton Keller hit the post and Richardson put the Coyotes up 3-2 on a one-timer after a nifty drop pass from Fischer.
Soderberg made it a two-goal lead 62 seconds later by redirecting a shot by Keller, giving Arizona three goals in the opening 7:49 of the third period.
“Tough game tonight,” Silfverberg said. “I thought we were doing a lot of good stuff and you they get a couple quick ones there and we really don’t have a bounce back.”
NOTES: Ducks LW Rickard Rakell missed his fifth straight game with an upper-body injury. … The Coyotes assigned F Michael Chaput to Tucson, their AHL affiliate. … Anaheim recalled D Chris Wideman from San Diego of the AHL. … Hall, who arrived in Arizona via a trade last month, played his 600th NHL game.
Ducks: Host Nashville on Sunday.
Coyotes: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
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