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Ducks open season with 5-4 win over Coyotes

Mike Coppinger, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Hockey

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks couldn't have loved their chances when it was learned they would open a season without captain Ryan Getzlaf on the ice for the first time in his 13 seasons in Anaheim.

One injury to a star player? Sure, they could deal with that.

But when you added Getzlaf's absence to the dizzying list of key injuries -- Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and backup goalie Ryan Miller -- the deck seemed stacked.

It didn't matter.

The Arizona Coyotes stormed out of the gate with two goals in the first 10 minutes, but the Ducks saved their best hockey for the third period, and put together two more goals in the final stanza to erase a three-goal deficit and steal a 5-4 victory at Honda Center.

Rickard Rakell, now playing center after scoring 33 goals as a winger last season, buried the game winner with less than four minutes remaining off a pass from Andrew Cogliano, who terrorized the Coyotes with his ferocious forecheck.

Cogliano also scored the game-tying goal minutes earlier off a Corey Perry rebound.

"We fought through it," said Rakell, who also added two assists. "... We still had a good feeling after the first period. We just wanted to restart and focus on the things that we could do better. We just kept on.

"I thought for sure we took advantage of the chances we got. We created some turnovers. We played pretty good."

Perry was a factor all night, and it had to feel good.

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