Ducks muzzled by Coyotes in shutout loss

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks were shut out for the fourth time this season in a 2-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – It was a frustrating night at Honda Center for the Ducks as they fell 2-0 to the Arizona Coyotes, bringing their season record against the Desert Dogs to 1-2-0. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse were the goalscorers for Arizona while Connor Ingram stopped all 28 shots he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season.

“They just outworked us,” said head coach Greg Cronin. “Every zone, they outworked us. They won puck battles. You can package this game any way you want. At the end of the day, they outworked us.”

“Collectively, it wasn’t a sharp game from us,” said defenseman Cam Fowler. “I don’t think we put enough pressure on them defensively and made things hard enough for them. I think it was just five guys on the ice at one time not being totally synced up. Those guys worked hard and it just felt like we were a little bit behind all game.”

John Gibson was sharp in net for Anaheim, stopping 30 of 32 shots. But he was seemingly the only bright spot in Friday’s defeat. The team in front of him took an offensive zone penalty seven minutes into the game and then conceded on the ensuing power play. The Ducks’ power play registered just three shots on goal in three opportunities and allowed two shots on goal to Arizona’s shorthanded unit.

Dec 29, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (36) defends the goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

“(Gibson) played great,” said Fowler. “Night in and night out, he competes. He gives us opportunities to win games. It sucks not putting any on the board for him. He did his part tonight and as players, we didn’t do ours. We’ll just have to keep working, figure out some ways to score some more goals and give our goalies some more support.”

“If you really want to weave a common thread through the game, it’s that we didn’t compete and we didn’t execute our passes and they did. It’s as simple as that. That pass Maccelli made to Crouse on the backdoor (for their power play goal) was incredible. And we had a guy standing there and he was staring at the puck, didn’t even see (Crouse) behind him.”

Things went from bad to worse in the middle of the third period when Mason McTavish went for a hit on Logan Cooley and missed, nailing Troy Terry instead. Terry was shaken up on the play and had to be attended to by head athletic trainer Chad Walker, but was able to leave the ice on his own. He did not return to the game.