John Gibson stopped 41 shots, rookie Max Comtois scored for the second straight game to open his NHL career and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 on Saturday night.
The Ducks and Coyotes played a tight game until Comtois scored in the closing seconds of the second period. He had a goal 49 seconds into Anaheim’s season-opening win over San Jose.
Anaheim had a penalty with 2:01 left in regulation and another with a minute left. Arizona pulled goalie Antti Raanta with about 30 seconds left to create a 6-on-3, but Gibson didn’t let anything through for his 17th career shutout.
Arizona was shut out in consecutive games to open a season for the first time in 39 years as a franchise after opening with a 3-0 loss to Dallas.
The Ducks opened the season without injured forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Ondrej Kase and Patrick Eaves. They still had plenty of offensive production in their opener, knocking off San Jose 5-2 behind three-point nights by Jakob Silfverberg and Richard Rakell.
Gibson was sharp against the Coyotes, turning away a couple of good chances in the first two periods.
Raanta, who finished with 19 saves, stop a pair of breakaways the first two periods, but was unable to come up with the stop on a mini breakaway by Comtois, who got behind Ilya Lyubushkin with 31 second left in the second.
The Coyotes picked up the pressure to open the third, but Gibson kept turning them away, including Richard Panik’s quick wraparound attempt.
Notes: A moment of silence was held before the game for Sen. John McCain, a huge Coyotes fan who died this year. … The Coyotes are 14-6-0-2 in home openers since moving from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996. … The Ducks are 4-1-0 the past two seasons against Arizona. … Silfverberg had his fourth assist of the season on Comtois’ goal.
Anaheim plays at Detroit on Monday.
Arizona plays at Anaheim on Tuesday.
Source: The Associated Press