ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Anaheim Ducks have rediscovered what makes their power play tick. And just in time for their belated playoff push.
Ryan Getzlaf scored twice with the man advantage in the third period, Scott Niedermayer and rookie Andrew Ebbett also had power-play goals, and the Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6-2 on Sunday night for their fourth victory in five games.
The four power-play goals tied a franchise record for the Ducks, who climbed within a point of Nashville for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot and remained tied with Minnesota.
"We're playing desperate hockey right now," Getzlaf said. "The situation is pretty much do or die from here on out. Every night is a playoff game for us, and it's nice to see that we're recognizing the situation we're in. We have a huge game coming up against Nashville on Tuesday, so we just have to continue playing the way we are.
"The games are against the teams that we're going to be playing are going to be tough. We've got to get better and play harder, and we're looking forward to the challenge," Getzlaf added.
Anaheim is 7-for-12 on the power play over its last three games, after going 1-for-28 in the previous eight.
"The power play has been effective for us at times and ineffective at times," Getzlaf said. "This was one of those games that we needed it big-time, and we were able to deliver."
Corey Perry and George Parros also scored, Chris Pronger had three assists and Jonas Hiller made 26 saves. The Ducks won a home game in regulation for the first time since beating Buffalo 3-2 on Feb. 2. They also snapped a club record-tying string of eight consecutive one-goal games, which followed a 6-0 loss at Boston.
Bobby Ryan's assist on Perry's goal gave him 46 points, breaking the Ducks' rookie record set by Dustin Penner during the Stanley Cup championship season of 2006-07. Ryan, who didn't make his season debut until Nov. 16, is only three points behind Chicago's Kris Versteeg for the NHL rookie lead despite playing in 14 fewer games.
Petr Prucha and Shane Doan scored second-period goals for Phoenix. Ilya Bryzgalov, the backup goalie for the Ducks two seasons ago when they won the Stanley Cup, finished with 24 saves after allowing six or more goals for the sixth time this season.
"They shoot, they score. That is the difference," Bryzgalov said. "We get a power play, we are not bearing down. They get a power play and they are scoring goals. We can't take the dumb penalties against a team like Anaheim because they've got guys like Getzlaf, Niedermayer and (Teemu) Selanne."
The Ducks opened the scoring the first time they had the man advantage. Pronger's slapshot from just inside the blue-line was redirected by Niedermayer at 4:55 of the first period while Matthew Lombardi was off for high-sticking Ryan.
Parros made it 2-0 at 18:11 of the first, converting a rebound from a sharp angle to the right of the net after Bryzgalov made a leg save on Erik Christensen's wrist shot from the left circle. The goal was the fifth this season for Parros, one more than the Ducks' enforcer had in 158 games over his previous three NHL seasons combined.
"It wasn't just a one-horse ride here tonight. Our guys got together and played well," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Special teams won the game for us. We have to try to build on more nights like this."
Prucha cut the deficit in half just 48 seconds into the second period with his fifth goal and first in 10 games with the Coyotes, who acquired him from the New York Rangers on March 4.
But Perry restored Anaheim's two-goal lead at 9:55 of the second with his 24th of the season, converting a centring pass at the edge of the crease after Getzlaf made a superb stickhandling move around defenceman Zbynek Michalek that left the defenceman flat on his stomach and flailing at air with his stick.
Doan made it a one-goal game again at 14:47 of the second, after Christensen coughed up the puck to him deep in the Anaheim zone. It was the 28th for the Coyotes' captain, tying the career high he set last season. He has averaged exactly 28 goals over the last five seasons.
Getzlaf's first goal made it 4-2 with 11:11 to play. Todd Fedoruk was serving an interference penalty when Pronger took a snap shot from the right circle that Getzlaf redirected between his own legs and Bryzgalov's legs with his back to the net.
Scottie Upshall was given a four-minute high-sticking penalty with 3:40 left in the game after cutting Pronger. Getzlaf scored his second goal of the game and 23rd of the season 21 seconds later, then Ebbett cashed in 36 seconds after that.
The Coyotes, whose 21-17-3 road record last season was the third-best in franchise history, are only 11-22-4 this season with four to go.
Notes: The Ducks also had four power-play goals on Jan. 28, 2006 against the Kings in Los Angeles. ... Anaheim LW Rob Niedermayer, who played in his 1,000th NHL regular-season game Thursday, was honoured for his milestone during a pregame ceremony in which his older brother presented him with a Rolex watch on behalf of the entire team. ... Pronger, Todd Marchant and Bret Hedican also have reached the 1,000-game mark earlier this season, making Anaheim the first team to have four players reach 1,000 career games in the same season since the 1998-99 Los Angeles Kings (Ray Ferraro, Russ Courtnall, Garry Galley and Doug Bodger). ... The Niedermayers are the fourth set of brothers in league history to play in 1,000 games each, joining Russ and Geoff Courtnall, Kevin and Derian Hatcher, and Brent and Ron Sutter.
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