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Coyotes feasted on some Ducks as they won 2-1

© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that started fairly slow, a physical battle at Mullett Arena took place as the Arizona Coyotes (3-2) took down the Anaheim Ducks (1-3) 2-1 on Oct. 21.

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Coming into the home-opener at “The Mullett,” the ‘Yotes split a four-game roadtrip 2-2, with their last game ending in a 6-2 blowout victory over the St. Louis Blues.

As for the Ducks, they traveled over to Tempe after coming up just short against the Dallas Stars in a 3-2 loss on Oct. 19.

Due to an injury, Anaheim defenseman Jamie Drysdale was ruled out of today’s game after initially being labeled as “questionable.”

In the matinee start, both teams fought to the last second, literally.

First Period

The first frame had some bite to it as the Coyotes set the tone early by bringing some physicality.

A few skirmishes ensued after hits were laid and both teams clearly didn’t like each other.

Getting on the board first, Arizona defenseman Juuso Välimäki controlled the puck at the blue line.

Ready to wire a shot, ‘Yotes winger Jason Zucker wound up and received a pass from Välimäki for a one-timer to score the first NHL goal at Mullett Arena this season with 2:19 left in the initial-20 minutes and Arizona led 1-0.

With 0:41 left, Coyotes winger left winger Michael Carcone apparently slashed Anaheim forward Mason McTavish’s stick.

Right after, the puck was loose at center ice and Carcone skated right into the shoulder of Ducks defenseman Radko Gudas and fell.

For a few seconds, Carcone stayed down on the ice before not being able to continue.

Down a forward, Arizona finished the period up 1-0.

Second Period

Things didn’t change much in the second frame besides even more grittiness.

There were a few gatherings in front of the net that evolved into hits that turned into shoving and punches.

Escalating quickly, Coyotes enforcer Liam O’Brien got into a scrap with Ducks forward Ross Johnston and they dropped the gloves.

Both players traded blows in the fight, but the referee’s broke it up with 12:00 left in the second period.

Following the bout, ‘Yotes winger Clayton Keller made his presence felt on both sides of the ice.

Because of a penalty, Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka skated towards the Arizona bench to get an extra-man on for a 6-on-5 opportunity.

Since the Ducks didn’t touch the puck, the pressure from the ‘Yotes continued to build and Keller saw two players standing in Ducks goaltender Lukaš Dostal’s vision.

Noticing the screen, Keller would rip the puck bar-down and Arizona were up 2-0 with 5:59 remaining in the second.

A couple minutes later, Vejmelka made a save and Ducks forward Frank Vatrano poked his stick at the goaltenders leg pads.

Coming to their teammates defense, Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi and Keller both held Vatrano before all three went down.

However, the only player that went to the penalty box at 3:38 left in the second frame was Keller.

At the end of the period, Anaheim had four penalties while Arizona received three.

Third Period

The Ducks came out hungry in the last-20 minutes of regulation and tried to claw their way back, but it wasn’t enough.

Yet again, another meeting happened between both squads and ‘Yotes forward Lawson Crouse took McTavish’s helmet off.

Crouse would receive a penalty and the Ducks capitalized.

At 7:47 into the period, Anaheim right winger Jakob Silfverberg gave the puck to Vatrano to score off a one-timer and the Ducks minimized the Coyotes advantage to 2-1.

Both teams traded hits and blocks, but it was the ‘Yotes who won the game 2-1.

Postgame Notes

Both Zucker and Carcone are now listed as “day-to-day” after suffering undisclosed injuries against the Ducks.

In a grueling battle, the Ducks outhit the ‘Yotes 33-22 and had more penalties with 8 while Arizona were dealt 6.

As for the goaltending, Vejmelka made 32 saves on 33 shots while Dostal stopped 25 on 27.

Ducks forward Trevor Zegras had 8 shots on net as he was firing the puck from everywhere throughout the game.

On the Keller goal, both him and Schmaltz, who got an assist, recorded their 6th point in 5 games to lead the Coyotes in that category.

Back on the road, the “Desert Dogs” travel to Los Angeles as they play the Kings inside Arena on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes, Cardinals and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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