Phoenix 3, Anaheim 1

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PHOENIX (TICKER) —The Phoenix Coyotes needed the victory more than the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and found a way to get it.

Sean Burke made 11 of his 31 saves in shorthanded situations and Brad May and Brian Savage each scored as the Coyotes posted a vital 3-1 win over the Mighty Ducks.

Phoenix killed six penalties in this fierce battle between Pacific Division foes fighting for a playoff spot.

Burke registered five saves when Anaheim owned a two-man advantage for a 1:30 span in the third and the Coyotes improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight games.

“I think we did a great job,” Burke said. “I had to make a couple of saves and there was some garbage laying around in front and we were able to get to them. With Adam Oates and Paul Kariya out there, you know you are going to get tested.”

Mike Johnson added an empty-netter with 10 seconds left for Phoenix, which moved within five points of Edmonton for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference.

Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 25 of 27 shots he faced and defenseman Sandish Ozolinsh netted his fourth goal since being acquired from Florida on January 30.

The Ducks held on to seventh place in the West despite falling to the Coyotes for the first time in four meetings this season (1-2-1).

“In the last period, we had our fair share of quality chances,” Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. “Both goalies tonight are real good and them being a little fresher tonight probably helped them, and you have to give them credit.

Anaheim finished 2-2-0 on its four-game road trip.

The 2001-02 Vezina Trophy finalist as the NHL’s top goaltender, Burke has missed a combined 48 games this season due to a pair of leg injuries.

Healthy again, Burke showed his ability to help Phoenix put together a charge for a playoff berth on Wednesday, when he made 34 saves in a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

“Sean makes you wonder where you’d be if he was healthy all year long,” Coyotes coach Bob Francis said. “It’s a very comforting feeling having him back there. Obviously, Sean was the player of the game.”

On Friday, Burke was tested immediately as Phoenix was shorthanded during four of the opening six minutes.

“The key is not to give them anything easy,” Burke said. “We got penalties early in the game and that’s the easiest way to give a team some jump and some confidence; give them power plays and let them score early in the game. But we killed them off and made the work for everything they got tonight.”

Johnson was penalized for tripping 7:08 into the third to put Phoenix two men down.

With Adam Oates - who ranks sixth on the NHL’s all-time assists list - setting up his Anaheim teammates, Burke rose to the occasion, stopping slap shots from All-Stars Kariya and Ozolinsh, as well as Petr Sykora’s close-range efforts off rebounds.

“Sean Burke is a great goalie,” Oates said. “The end of each period, we had some great chances and he was able to keep them in it. But give them credit, they played great.”

Anaheim’s top line of Oates, Sykora and Kariya had combined for 68 points in its previous 23 games, when the Ducks posted a 15-6-1-1 mark.

Oates and Sykora each had an assist on Ozolinsh’s tally against Phoenix.

“That’s one of the most skilled lines in the league,” Burke said. “Adam Oates, he is the kind of guy who is going to find you. As a goaltender, you know you are going to (need) defense.”

Phoenix was leading 1-0 just under five minutes into the third when Shane Doan set up the eventual game-winner.

After recording two assists on Wednesday, Doan carried down the right side of Anaheim’s zone and maintained possession behind the net until Savage got open at the right goalpost to slip a wrister past Giguere’s stick.

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