Through two games, the Mighty Ducks have barely resembled last season’s Western Conference champions. Anaheim has dropped road games to Nashville and Dallas, scoring only one goal in each loss.
“It’s certainly not the start of the season we were looking for,” Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said.
On Thursday, Anaheim fell to the Predators 3-1 despite outshooting Nashville 29-26. Babcock was also disappointed with the team’s lackluster effort with the man advantage, as the Ducks went 0-for-4 on the power play, including two missed opportunities in the third period.
“We have two power plays and we really don’t even get an attack to any significant degree. And they come back with a tic-tac-toe and put it in the back of our net, and there’s the game,” Babcock said.
Anaheim’s lineup has changed since last season, with Paul Kariya gone and Sergei Fedorov and Vaclav Prospal joining the team. Federov registered his first point of the season in Thursday’s loss, assisting on Rob Niedermayer’s third-period goal.
“You can’t really win with one goal,” Prospal said. “That’s the bottom line.”
The Coyotes opened the season with a 2-1 overtime win over St. Louis on Friday.
“I can’t breathe,” said Tanabe, who was pummeled by teammates after netting the 16th goal of his four-year career.
“I think I’ve got a headache from getting hit in the head so much, but it’s a great way to get our first win, and that’s the biggest thing—to build momentum.”
The Coyotes’ young group of defensemen—all under 25—acquitted themselves well against the powerful Blues, helping Phoenix kill six of seven power plays, including one that began with 3:01 left in regulation.
“We hustled, beat them to loose pucks, and we limited (Al) MacInnis and (Chris) Pronger at the point,” Coyotes goalie Sean Burke said. “That’s a big part of their power play when those guys are shooting it.”
STANDINGS (through Oct. 10): Coyotes - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division. Mighty Ducks - 0 points, 5th place, 2 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Daymond Langkow and Tanabe, 1 goals; four with 1 assist; six with 1 point; Chris Gratton, 4 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Niedermayer, 2 goals and 2 points; four with 1 assist; Petr Sykora, 20 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 10): Coyotes - Power play: 25.0 percent (1 for 4), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (6 for 7), 14th (tied). Mighty Ducks - Power play: 12.5 percent (1 for 8), 17th. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (6 for 8) 13.
GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Burke (1-0-0, 0 SO, 0.94 GAA); Brian Boucher (no appearances). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (0-1-0, 0, 4.00); Gerber (0-1-0, 0, 3.10).
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: tied, 2-2-1.
LAST MEETING: March 15; Coyotes, 4-2. At Phoenix, Ladislav Nagy scored twice and Johnson had a pair of assists during Phoenix’s three-goal first period
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 0-0-0-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 0-0-0-0 at home.