Vermette, Duclair, Domi lead Coyotes to 4-2 win over Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Antoine Vermette has been around long enough to know scoring droughts happen from time to time.
That only makes them a little easier to endure.
Vermette scored his first goal of the season in the second period and ended Anaheim's comeback bid with an empty-netter, lifting the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
''When you're younger, maybe you're more sensitive to those stretches, but you know if you keep putting in the work, eventually it's going to come,'' said Vermette, who returned to Arizona after winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago last season.
The Coyotes had beaten the Ducks twice already this season behind Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Martin Hanzal. Domi and Duclair were at it again, combining for three points - including a goal in the third period shortly after Anaheim cut the lead to two.
Duclair has scored five of his eight goals against the Ducks this season and has combined with Domi for 11 points in three games.
Michael Stone also scored and Mike Smith stopped 29 shots for the Coyotes.
Anaheim rallied the night before and twice cut Arizona's lead to one on third-period goals by Sami Vantanen and Ryan Kesler before Vermette put it away with his empty-netter.
''We can play really good on certain occasions and the next night we don't play nearly as well,'' Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''We had pockets tonight and there were times we looked like we were brain dead.''
The Ducks played Tuesday night at home, rallying to beat Calgary 5-3 behind Ryan Getzlaf's team record-tying five assists and a relief appearance by goalie John Gibson.
Gibson started against Arizona with Freddie Andersen (illness) out for a second straight game and gave up a goal in the opening 5 minutes, when Stone scored from near the blue line with the help of Boyd Gordon's screen.
The Coyotes broke through against the NHL's best penalty-kill unit early in the second period, with Vermette swiping a rebound off the post for his first regular-season goal since last Feb. 14 against the New York Rangers.
The Ducks rallied in the third period against the Flames and quickly pulled within a goal against the Coyotes in the final period, scoring 38 seconds in when a shot by Vantanen went off Kesler and between Smith's legs.
But Arizona's D&D boys answered right back.
Domi, who had four points in the first two games against Anaheim this season, tracked down a puck from behind to keep it in the zone and found Duclair streaking back the other way. He used a deke to move Gibson out of position and flipped in a backhander to put the Coyotes back up by two goals.
''I'm just getting lucky against them, I guess,'' said Duclair, who had a hat trick in his first game against Anaheim.
The Ducks still kept coming, cutting the lead to one again when Vantanen flipped a shot past Smith on a power play. They couldn't get anything else past Smith, and Vermette finally sealed it.
''It's frustrating,'' Getzlaf said. ''We're trying to build off a pretty good game yesterday and should have come in with some excitement, but we came out flat.''
NOTES: Coyotes captain Shane Doan did not play due to a lower-body injury. He is day to day. ... Anaheim's Cam Fowler had an assist to reach 127 for his career, passing Francois Beauchemin for second on the team's all-time list among defensemen. ... Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek played in game No. 559, passing Keith Yandle for third on the team's career list for defensemen.