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Ducks fail to capitalize on Trevor Zegras’ playmaking, lose in OT

Ducks fail to capitalize on Trevor Zegras’ playmaking, lose in OT

  • Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski, left, defends against Anaheim Ducks right wing Alexander Volkov during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Arizona Coyotes left wing Johan Larsson, left, works against Anaheim Ducks left wing Nicolas Deslauriers for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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  • Anaheim Ducks center Sam Carrick, center, is congratulated by teammates for his goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson stops a shot by the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, right, celebrates with center Derick Brassard after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson, right, controls the puck with Arizona Coyotes right wing Conor Garland (83) in pursuit, while Ducks goaltender John Gibson, second from left, and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk watch during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill, right, makes a save against Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique, left, shoots against Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Gross, left, and Anaheim Ducks center Danton Heinen work for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Arizona Coyotes left wing Johan Larsson, center, and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, second from right, vie for the puck with Anaheim Ducks center Derek Grant, right, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM — Here’s the thing about Ducks rookie Trevor Zegras, the thing opponents must learn, and learn it quickly: Give him an inch of open ice and he’ll take a mile, give him one step and he’ll take two, three, four or more and make you pay. He’s just that creative with the puck on his stick.

Zegras skated into open ice twice in the first period Sunday at Honda Center and burned the Arizona Coyotes twice, setting up two goals in a 3-2 loss for his first multi-point game of his budding NHL career. The best is likely to come for the 20-year-old left wing.

As for the present?

Well, Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun countered Zegras’ high-level playmaking, scoring three times to rally the Coyotes, including the game-winner 1:47 into OT. Chychrun’s second goal tied the score 2-2 at 15:09 of the third period, sending the game to overtime.

So, it’s a mixed bag.

The Ducks managed little else offensively against the Coyotes, but this time they had the ready-made excuse of missing several of their top playmakers because of injuries.  They were sound enough to split the two-game set with Arizona, winning for the third time in five games overall.

Goaltender John Gibson returned to the Ducks’ net from a three-game layoff because of an unspecified upper body injury and made 28 saves. Ryan Getzlaf (upper body), Rickard Rakell (upper body) and Troy Terry (upper body) were sidelined, however, knocking out three of their best playmakers.

It didn’t take long for Zegras to display his wizardry with the puck, though. He set up both of the Ducks’ first period goals, feeding Sam Carrick from behind the net for a goal and a 1-0 lead 8:31 into the game. Carrick had been recalled from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL earlier in the day.

The Ducks’ lead lasted less than 30 seconds.

Or about as long as it took Chychrun to blast the puck behind Gibson from the right wing. Zegras helped to restore the Ducks’ one-goal lead by firing a shot on Adin Hill’s net that Derek Grant deflected past the goalie for a 2-1 lead at 14:47.

Gibson had plenty of work during a scoreless second, but most of the Coyotes’ 15 shots in the period were from the perimeter and easily handled. As in past games, the Coyotes’ speed and skill was difficult for the Ducks to neutralize, but scoring chances were few and far between.

Carrick had an eventful season debut with the Ducks, scoring one goal and drawing a fighting major. Carrick also sent Hill into an agonized state that required attention from the athletic trainer after it appeared Carrick speared the goalie in the groin while going for a rebound.

Carrick wasn’t penalized and after an extended break Hill stayed in the game.


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