The Phoenix Coyotes were able to slow down the red-hot Anaheim Ducks in Phoenix. Doing the same at the Honda Center could be a much more difficult task.
The Coyotes look to snap the Ducks' longest home winning streak in five years on Wednesday night, when the clubs wrap a span of three meetings over five days.
Phoenix played host to Anaheim on Saturday and Monday in an odd schedule quirk and came away with 5-4 shootout victories on each night. The deja vu was prominent as not only did the Coyotes win by the identical score, but they overcame one-goal deficits twice in the third period in each game to force overtime.
In Monday's meeting, Michael Stone had the game-tying goal 7:49 into the third period and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was credited with the winner in the shootout. Steve Sullivan also scored in the breakaway session and Mike Smith stopped 4-of-5 skaters, getting beat only by Ryan Getzlaf.
Keith Yandle scored in regulation for his 200th NHL point, while Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette added tallies. Smith stopped 27 shots as the Coyotes won for the third time in four games and pulled to within eight points of the Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.
"Both teams know how desperate the points are, that's why there's responses after responses," Doan said. "It's important for us to get as many points as we can."
Getzlaf totaled a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who had won 10 of their previous 12 prior to the consecutive shootout losses. Bobby Ryan, Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also lit the lamp, while Jonas Hiller made 36 saves in the setback.
"No one is happy in here (with one point)," Hiller said.
Anaheim begins a three-game homestand and has won eight straight as the host since a 5-0 loss to Vancouver on Jan. 25 in its home opener. It's the Ducks' longest home winning streak since taking 10 in a row from Feb. 17-March 26, 2008.
Phoenix, though, has now won three straight and seven of its past 10 versus the Ducks, but has lost two straight in Anaheim.
This is just the second time that the Coyotes are facing an opponent in three straight regular-season games in franchise history. They also faced the Sharks on Nov. 10, 12 and 15 in 2007.
This string of games marks the first time that the Ducks are facing the same team in three straight contests.