ANAHEIM, Calif.-- Might the Anaheim Ducks be making playoff plans in December? Ben Lovejoy, the team's eternally upbeat defenseman, might have dropped a juicy peek into the thoughts of his coach, Bruce Boudreau.
"Last year, with a month left in the season, Detroit was out of the playoffs," Lovejoy said. "And Bruce said that's who we're going to play in the first round. He knows who he thinks we're going to play in the first round already."
There is still a full second half of the schedule to play but 10 straight wins and a 28-7-5 record might make a team gaze down the road. The Ducks kept rolling Saturday night as Saku Koivu's overtime goal gave them a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Koivu's deflection of Lovejoy's point shot capped a big night for the center and allowed the Ducks to extend the NHL's longest win streak this season after letting a two-goal lead get away late in regulation.
Asked what opponent Boudreau is predicting for the current Pacific Division leaders, Lovejoy simply said, "Nope. You got to ask him."
Boudreau had to backpedal a bit. "I also prefaced it to say if we get in the playoffs," he said. "Evidently I had nothing to do for three days. So I went through the schedule a lot."
Koivu scored his 250th career goal while killing off a penalty in the first period and Andrew Cogliano continued the shutdown line's production of late by making it 2-0 with a deflection of Daniel Winnik's shot five minutes into the third.
Phoenix scratched out a point when Martin Hanzal scored off a weird carom with 4:34 remaining and Mike Ribeiro got his stick on a Keith Yandle point shot with 43.8 remaining when goalie Thomas Greiss was pulled for an extra attacker.
But Koivu made the announced overflow Honda Center crowd of 17,442 roar just 51 seconds into the extra session. The Ducks take a seven-point cushion in the Pacific into another divisional showdown Sunday night at San Jose.
A return date against the Sharks is Tuesday back in Anaheim.
"All these Pacific teams are so good that we're going to have to go through all of them," Lovejoy said. "And we want to send a message that we're going to be ready to go in the playoffs too.
"We need to be good all the time."
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