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Hampus Lindholm plays a big role in Ducks' 5-2 victory over Phoenix

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Defenseman scores his first NHL goal and has an assist on Corey Perry's go-ahead goal in the second period, helping Ducks improve to 6-0 at home.

November 06, 2013|By Lance Pugmire

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Hampus Lindholm is struggling to join his Ducks teammates who are growing their facial hair for a "Movember" men's health awareness promotion.

"I've been trying, it's going to take awhile," the 19-year-old Swedish defenseman said, displaying only light stubble on his chin that could be confused with peach fuzz.

Lindholm, however, is more than pulling his weight on the ice as he showed Wednesday with his first career goal and an assist on a go-ahead goal deflected in by Corey Perry late in the second period as the Ducks beat the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2, at Honda Center.

BOX SCORE: Ducks 5, Phoenix 2

Leading the NHL with 27 points, the Ducks (13-3-1) are 6-0 at home and on a 6-0-1 streak after a 5-2-1 showing on a taxing 15-day trip that closed with a flight home from New York Monday night.

The Ducks not only ended the winning streak of Pacific Division-rival Phoenix (11-4-2) at five games, they rehabilitated two weaknesses.

They scored two power-play goals after getting an NHL-worst four in 60 previous chances this season, one being a third-period goal from defenseman Cam Fowler that doubled the Ducks' season goals total by defensemen in one evening.

"It's an important part of the game," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of blue-line scoring. "Look at Phoenix, they lead the league. Chicago won a Stanley Cup because their defense is so active and mobile."

Boudreau said he put the team through a 25-minute drill on power-play scoring Tuesday, assessing, "It worked."

Before the game, Lindholm and Fowler said they discussed each of them scoring.

"We've been getting our chances," Fowler said, "and I know when I first came into the league I was pressing to get that first goal. I'm happy for him. He's been playing great for us."

Lindholm's goal differential of plus-13 when he's on the ice leads all NHL rookies and is tied for second overall in the league.

The Ducks were a bit lethargic at the start, managing only three shots in the first half of the first period and getting beat on a line change for a goal.

Only 4 minutes 25 seconds into the game, Phoenix center Mike Ribiero shoved a pass that teammate Shane Doan took between defenders Luca Sbisa and Bryan Allen for a breakaway shot on Jonas Hiller that trickled through the goalie's legs.

Lindholm answered with five minutes left in the first period by rushing into shooting position to accept a crisp pass from center Mathieu Perreault, smacking a shot to the left of goalie Mike Smith.

With his father, Jonas, in attendance for the first time this season, Lindholm showed the exuberance that could be expected after a first career goal as he raised both arms, pumped his right fist and smiled widely.

"Very good feeling," he said.

The Ducks committed three second-period penalties and after impressively killing off the first, they watched Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone follow his own shot for a goal that gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.

A hooking call followed on Allen, but the Coyotes quickly picked up tripping and goaltender-interference penalties.

Six seconds into a two-man advantage, Ryan Getzlaf fired a shot that deflected off the stick of Phoenix center Martin Hanzal past Smith.

Lindholm then launched a shot just inside the blue line that Perry touched for a 3-2 lead with 1.1 seconds left in the period. It was Perry's team-best 10th goal.

Andrew Cogliano had an empty-net goal for the final margin.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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