Coyotes Shoot Down Ducks

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The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have learned a valuable lesson: Beware of goaltenders you leave unprotected in expansion drafts.

Mikhail Shtalenkov blanked his former team for the second time this season as the Phoenix Coyotes concluded the best October in franchise history with a 3-0 victory.

"I was here a long time, but it's nothing personal against them," said Shtalenkov, who is with his third organization since being picked by Nashville in the 1998 expansion draft. "They know me and I know them. I just want to play well, that's all."

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  • The shutout was the eighth of Shtalenkov's seven-year career and his third against the Ducks. He made 33 saves 19 of them in the second period while improving his lifetime record against Anaheim to 5-1.

    "He has been pretty hot against us, but we haven't gotten too much traffic around the net and he got to see all the pucks," Teemu Selanne said. "There's no goalie you can score against if he sees every puck that's coming."

    Trevor Letowski scored a shorthanded goal and the Coyotes also got goals from Shane Doan and Travis Green as they won their third in a row and finished the month with an 8-2-3 record.

    The game marked the Anaheim debut of center Tony Hrkac, who was acquired on Friday from the New York Islanders in a trade for Ted Drury/A> and whose costly turnover resulted in the Coyotes' first goal.

    Phoenix defenseman Keith Carney was serving an interference penalty when Hrkac lost control of a bouncing puck inside the Phoenix blue line. Juha Ylonen carried it through the neutral zone and spotted a wide-open Letowski, who went in alone on Guy Hebert before stuffing his second goal of the season through the goaltender's pads at 13:15 of the first period.

    "I thought they were going to bring it out of the zone in the first place, but we kept it in," Hrkac said. "Then my momentum was going backward; and when the puck came to me, I just tried to whack it the other way."

    The shorthanded goal was the first against Anaheim and the third by the Coyotes, who have allowed only four power-play goals this season in 50 shorthanded situations. The Ducks have scored only three times in 26 opportunities with the man advantage in their last nine games.

    "Somehow, we weren't ready to play right away and we didn't have enough jump," Selanne said. "But in the second period, we had some good scoring chances and I thought we were going to take the game in our own hands."

    Both Shtalenkov and Hebert had little to do through through the first 8 1/2 minutes of the game, with each team being credited with only one shot on net.

    "Someone said it was one of the most boring games to watch, but that's what you want to do on the road," Doan said. "You don't have to put on a show. You just have to win, and that's what we did."

    Doan, who had two goals against the Ducks in their previous meeting, made it 2-0 at 13:08 of the second period with his fourth of the season. He redirected Deron Quint's slap shot from the left point after Jeremy Roenick won a faceoff from Matt Cullen.

    "It's great to contribute offensively whenever you can," Doan said. "That was a pretty lucky one tonight, but I'll take it."

    Shtalenkov, who stopped 21 Anaheim shots in a 4-0 victory on Oct. 5 in Phoenix, nearly lost his shutout three minutes into the second period. But Carney flopped on his stomach in the crease to keep the puck out of the net after Paul Kariya found Cullen alone in front.

    After Green added his ninth goal of the season into an empty net with 2:14 remaining, Anaheim's Ladislav Kohn hit the crossbar from 25 feet out in the slot with 1:09 remaning to keep Shtalenkov's shutout intact.

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