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Ducks stay in race for playoff spot with win

March 20, 2009|Associated Press

GLENDALE, ARIZ — . -- Bobby Ryan knocked in the deciding goal in a shootout and the Ducks stayed in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race with a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

Todd Marchant had a pair of assists for the Ducks, who climbed into a tie with idle Dallas and Minnesota for ninth place with 74 points. The top eight teams in the conference will make the playoffs.

The Ducks, coming off a 4-3 overtime victory at home over Nashville on Wednesday night, took a 2-1 lead when Phoenix's Kyle Turris deflected the puck into his own net with 7:01 to play.

The Coyotes tied it on Matthew Lombardi's goal with 2:31 left in regulation. He took a pass in the crease from Scottie Upshall, and knocked it off the right post and across the line for the score.

After Ryan's shootout goal, Lombardi missed his attempt, allowing the Ducks to escape with the victory.

Turris' inadvertent goal came when the Ducks' Petteri Nokelainen skidded into the net just as the puck was passed in front of the net by Marchant. Turris was there to knock the puck away, but it went in instead.

Officials reviewed the play, then Nokelainen was credited with the goal, his second of the season, with Marchant getting the assist.

The Ducks scored 3:05 into the game on a goal by Drew Miller, called up from Iowa of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.

But Phoenix dominated the period after that, tying it at 1-1 when Zbynek Michalek took a pass from Mikkel Boedker and ripped a slap shot past goalie Jonas Hiller at the 7:57 mark.

The teams were scoreless in the second period, the Ducks outshooting the Coyotes, 9-7.

This was the last of the Ducks' 15 games on consecutive nights.

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