Smith stays clean as Coyotes top Ducks
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Mike Smith posted 44 stops for his second straight shutout and seventh of the season as Phoenix took a 4-0 win over Anaheim.
The cluttered battle for the Pacific Division got more cluttered on Saturday as Phoenix and Los Angeles are both tied in points with 91. Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker and sits in first in the division and third in the conference while Phoenix is seventh in the conference. But that might change before the season is over as San Jose defeated Dallas on Saturday to move within a point of the division lead. Dallas remains two points behind the top spot.
Ray Whitney had a goal and an assist for the 1,000th and 1,001st points of his career while Radim Vrbata also had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who have won their past two games.
Jeff Deslauriers gave up all four goals on 29 shots for the Ducks, who have dropped two of three.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave Phoenix the only goal it needed just 6:10 in on a breakaway when he slid a backhand under the left pad of Deslauriers. Ekamn- Larsson was hit by a pass from Mikkel Boedker just as he was coming out of the penalty box.
The Phoenix power play scored three times in the second period to take a 4-0 lead.
The first goal came at the 11:03 mark when Derek Morris blasted a shot on net from the left point that Antoine Vermette got a stick on.
The Coyotes were skating on a 5-on-3 advantage when Whitney and Radim Vrbata played catch with the puck and Vrbata putting the puck into the net on a wrister from the left circle with 3:46 to play in the frame. The assist was Whitney's 1,000th point.
"I'm glad it was over with because what we're doing now [the playoff race] is something more important," said Whitney.
Just 40 seconds later Whitney added to his career total with a wrister that found of the back of the net for his 24th of the season.
Smith turned aside 18 shots in the third to run his shutout streak to 139 minutes and 59 seconds.
"It was one of those night were we weren't going to beat that guy," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Whitney became the 79th player in the history of the NHL to reach 1,000 points. He has 75 points on the season...Smith has 18 shutouts in his career...Phoenix plays its final home game of the regular season on Tuesday against Columbus...Anaheim hosts Edmonton on Sunday...Each team won three times in the series this season.
04/01 01:56:59 ET