Ducks edge Coyotes to earn top seed in West
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Getzlaf notched a goal and an assist, as the Anaheim Ducks secured the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
Jakob Silfverberg also scored and Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for the Ducks (51-24-7), who finished tied with Central champion St. Louis at 109 points, but had one more non-shootout win than St. Louis.
Anaheim will face Winnipeg in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
"It's going to be fun. It's going to be a hard-fought series," said Getzlaf about playing the Jets. "They're a big, strong team built much like we are. We're excited about that."
Sam Gagner scored late in the third period for Arizona (24-50-8), which had the worst record in the Western Conference and finished with more points than only Buffalo in the NHL. Mike Smith stopped 36 shots in defeat.
Gagner made it a 2-1 game with 6:01 remaining, scoring from the slot off a feed from Martin Erat after David Moss stole the puck behind the Anaheim net.
The Coyotes, however, couldn't find the equalizer and suffered their third straight loss to end a dismal season. Arizona failed to reach the playoffs for a third straight season after reaching the conference finals in the spring of 2012.
"It's a painful experience, that's for sure," said Arizona coach Dave Tippett. "We weren't real competitive the last two or three months."
Getzlaf scored his 25th goal at 5:41 of the first period to put Anaheim on the board, then helped set up Silfverberg's 13th with just 37 seconds remaining in the second.
The Ducks improved to 8-0-2 in their last 10 against Arizona, including a 3-0-2 mark this season ... Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play ... Arizona has a 13.5 percent chance in the NHL lottery to win the first overall draft pick, behind only Buffalo's 20 percent ... Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson finished with 23 goals this season to lead all NHL defensemen, also tying Phil Housley's franchise record for defensemen, set in 1990-91 and 1991-92 when the club was located in Winnipeg.