Ebene Magazine – Ducks blow another 3-goal lead and lose to Coyotes in the shootout

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The Trevor Zegras Duck Center shoots on goal in the first phase of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes Center Nick Schmaltz (8) runs stage two from Anaheim Ducks Center Sam Steel (23) and right Carter Rowney during an NHL hockey game on Monday, February 22, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz (24) away (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Ducks left wing Nicolas Deslauriers (20) carries the puck between defenseman Jordan Oesterle (82) of Arizona Coyotes and right wing Christian Fischer (36) during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 , in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 23, shields Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Jones during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona, in front of the puck. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) scores as Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) in the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona, helping with the defense. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

The Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) celebrates after scoring the Arizona Coyotes in the first half of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

The Ducks left wing, Max Comtois (53), celebrates after a strike against goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper (35) of Arizona Coyotes during an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri))

The Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) celebrates after scoring the Arizona Coyotes in the first half of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper (35) parries in front of Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Comtois (53) in the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Ducks defender Josh Mahura (76) celebrates with center Trevor Zegras (46) and right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) after beating the Arizona Coyotes in the second phase of the team’s NHL hockey game Scored a goal on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. in Glendale, Arizona (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Ducks defender Josh Mahura, 76, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona would have. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Ducks goalkeeper Ryan Miller (30) saves Coyotes from defenseman Jani Hakanpaa (28), defenseman Cam Fowler (4) and right wing Conor Garland (83) of Arizona Coyotes in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes Center Nick Schmaltz (8) runs stage two from Anaheim Ducks Center Sam Steel (23) and right Carter Rowney during an NHL hockey game on Monday, February 22, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz (24) away (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, 22, and Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell, 67, fight in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona to get the puck. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper Ryan Miller (30) and Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) tangle in the second round during an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Glendale, Arizona (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri))

Arizona Coyotes Center Nick Schmaltz (8) and Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Jones chase the puck during the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes right wing Conor Garland (83) protects Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Arizona on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Puck. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Anaheim in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona Ducks had scored. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Anaheim Ducks Center Trevor Zegras scores a goal during the shootout of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes defender Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) celebrates with goalkeeper Adin Hill (31) after the team’s shootout win against the Anaheim Dukcs in an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

The Ducks built a three-goal lead for goalkeeper Ryan Miller, and on Wednesday night at Gila River Arena it went wrong when it mattered. Suddenly the ducks stopped looking for more goals and started playing too much of the game on their own end of the ice.

Soon a seemingly sweeping victory over the Arizona Coyotes began to feel familiar. The Coyotes scored goals from Tyler Pitlick, Jakob Chychrun and Phil Kessel in the third half and scored a 4-3 win in the shootout.

Ducks coach Dallas Eakins called for his time out to calm his team down with just over eight minutes in the third. They regrouped after their lead was cut to 3-2, but failed to present Miller with his 389th career win, which would put him with Dominik Hasek in 14th place on the all-time NHL list.

Miller made 25 saves but couldn’t stop Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak in the shootout and the Ducks lost their second straight win over the Coyotes and fifth in a row. Trevor Zegras had the ducks’ only goal in a three-round shootout.

« These are two games in a row where we let our foot off the gas, » said Eakins, referring to the 4-3 defeat to the Coyotes on Monday when they wasted a 3-0 lead. « We talked after the second half that the best way to defend is to score another goal. »

Miller started the game with a 388-283-85 record and 44 shutouts in 784 appearances with the Buffalo Sabers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, and Ducks. When most goalkeepers could have retired, 40-year-old Miller has found a home to replace John Gibson for the past four seasons.

Gibson started five games in a row when the Ducks fell four times in a row. So it was probably time Eakins gave Gibson a break and brought Miller back on the net for his first start since losing to the Vegas Golden Knights on February 9.

In the last seconds of the first half, Max Comtois scored his eighth goal of the season and gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Jani Hakanpaa’s perimeter shot hit Comtois in the chest and the puck fell on his skates. Comtois hit the puck between his legs with his back to the net.

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Goals from Josh Mahura and Max Jones (power play) extended the Ducks lead to 3-0 by the end of the second half. Zegras was announced as assistant to Mahura’s goal, which would have been his first NHL point in his second game. Sam Steel was later credited with the solitary assistance.

Jones’ power play goal was his second man advantage in as many games and gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead in as many games against the Coyotes in the second half.

« We can’t, » he said. « We can’t accept that. We have to do our best to stay positive, but it’s difficult. We play right, but it doesn’t take the full 60 minutes. We struggle with that. I think we have to sit down and maybe 20 or 30 minutes to think about it.

Coach Dallas Eakins speaks after a frustrating Ducks shootout loss # FlyTogether I @AnaheimDucks I @AlysonLozoff pic.twitter.com/GT2zHMsenn

« We’re playing right. It’s the full 60 minutes we have to keep and for some reason we’re struggling with that right now. » # FlyTogether I @AnaheimDucks pic.twitter.com/ygjksMx9kt

Zegras gets one in the shootout, but the ducks fall short tonight in Arizona #FlyTogether I @AnaheimDucks pic.twitter.com/8NGB1ciGYD

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