Phoenix 4, Anaheim 2

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PHOENIX (TICKER) Ladislav Nagy recorded his second two-goal game in a week as the Phoenix Coyotes snapped a three-game winless streak by holding on for a 4-2 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Nagy, who also tallied twice in a 6-4 win over San Jose on March 8, scored both goals in the first period, when the Coyotes jumped out to a 3-0 lead. He has five goals and an assist in his last five games.

Sean Burke made 26 saves for Phoenix, which remained nine points behind Edmonton for the final Western Conference playoff spot with 11 games remaining.

“Last game was frustrating and we had a little meeting this morning,” Nagy said, referring to Friday’s 4-0 setback to Chicago. “Tonight, we were stronger in the first period and that is why we win the game.”

Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere was pulled just 6:01 into the game after allowing two goals in 76 seconds. Brian Savage opened the scoring at 4:45.

“Preparation wasn’t very good tonight,” Ducks coach Mike Babcock said. “It started at the goalie, moved up to the defensemen and the forwards and even the coaching staff. Our guys are not prepared, and that is all there is.”

The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Ducks, who remained tied with Minnesota for sixth place in the West. Anaheim still needs one win to set a team record.

Giguere did not seem thrilled about being lifted.

“I wasn’t happy with the start, but I would like to be able to battle back and get myself out of it,” he said. “It is part of being a goalie. For a momentum switch, they are going to get you out of there.”

Martin Gerber surrendered Nagy’s second goal with 4:36 left in the first. But the Coyotes were content to sit on the lead, managing just five shots in the second period, and the strategy almost proved costly.

Jason Krog made it 3-1 at 9:14 of the second before Mike Leclerc pulled the Ducks within a goal 2:06 into the third.

“We got the lead but started turning the puck over a bit, then we got into a little trouble with the penalties,” Burke said.

Still, the fast start came as welcome news for the Coyotes, who were outscored, 10-0, in the first period of their previous six games. Phoenix also did not give up a power-play goal for the first time in seven games.

The Ducks were 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

“We weren’t very proud of last night’s effort,” Coyotes coach Bob Francis said. “We addressed the preparation that we haven’t been doing properly. Specialty teams was better.”

Shane Doan clinched the win by shooting the puck the length of the ice into an empty net with seven seconds left.

“We are just making it easier,” Anaheim center Steve Rucchin said of his team’s power play. “I think we are pressing too much, even on the power play. If you have an extra guy, it should be easy to move the puck around. We are not making them work killing penalties.”

The Ducks had a few scoring chances after closing within a goal. Burke made a glove save on defenseman Niclas Havelid’s slap shot from the slot with 10 minutes left, then snared Paul Kariya’s blast from the high slot with six minutes to go.

The Coyotes also had to kill a late penalty after Daymond Langkow was penalized for high-sticking with 3:24 left. The Ducks pulled Gerber for an extra attacker in the final minute but did not get a shot before time expired.

Savage backhanded a pass to himself, then fired the puck between Giguere’s pads to open the scoring. Just over a minute later, Nagy took a pass from Langkow, moved to his backhand and beat Giguere to the glove side.

Phoenix got a break when Adam Oates’ apparent goal with 6:32 left in the first period was nullified due to a high-stick. But Nagy made it 3-0 just over two minutes later.

“This is our best first period in a month, two or three,” said Phoenix right wing Mike Johnson who had a pair of assists. “We got a little sloppy in the second period, but Burke was there and in the third period, we played solid.”

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Jean-Sebastien Giguere Col 6 4