Rakell, Miller lead playoff-bound Ducks past Coyotes, 3-0
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — With a win in the regular season finale, the Anaheim Ducks secured home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs and finally know who they’ll face: the Pacific Division-rival San Jose Sharks.
Rickard Rakell had a goal and assist, and Ryan Miller made 31 saves to lead the surging Ducks to a 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night, helping Anaheim clinch second place in the division.
Rakell scored for the 12th time in his last 19 games. He led the Ducks with a career-high 34 goals and 69 points this season.
“We know they have a good power play and they’re strong around the boards,” Rakell said of the Sharks. “They have four good lines working really hard, so we’re going to have to match that.”
Miller earned his fourth shutout of the season and 43rd of his career. It was also his 370th career win, moving him past Tom Barrasso for second place on the all-time list among U.S.-born goalies.
“Definitely somebody I looked up to,” Miller said of Barrasso. “Just happy to still be playing meaningful hockey and getting some wins.”
Adam Henrique scored his 24th of the season for Anaheim and added an assist, and Hampus Lindholm scored an empty-netter before the final buzzer.
The Ducks (44-25-13) won their fifth straight to finish 10-1-1 over the final 12 games.
The Coyotes (29-41-12) finished last in the Pacific, but went 17-9-3 in their last 29 games in a season they started 1-12-1.
“I thought we got better from October, so there’s some good positive things,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “We just ran out of gas tonight. For the most part, the last 25, 30 games, we beat some good hockey teams and I thought some of the young guys really progressed, which is nice.”
The two teams combined for 26 penalty minutes.
Arizona goalie Antti Raanta appeared in his first game since signing a three-year, $12.75 million contract on Friday that will keep him from free agency. He stopped 24 shots.
“Anaheim, they played a strong game,” Raanta said. “Everyone left everything on the ice but sometimes puck luck isn’t on your side.”
An altercation between Coyotes defenseman Luke Schenn and Ducks forward Nick Ritchie in the first period resulted in minor penalties for both. That was followed by another confrontation involving Arizona’s Brad Richardson and Anaheim’s Derek Grant, with Richardson sent to the penalty box for two minutes.
The power play for the Ducks helped when Henrique muscled in a backhand for a goal at 10:54 of the period, giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead. Rakell got an assist, his 35th.
Richardson and Anaheim’s Corey Perry served five minutes for fighting early in the second period. The Ducks missed a chance to add to their lead when Jakob Silfverberg hit the post with a shot at 13:07 of the second.
Rakell scored off a pass from Ryan Getzlaf with 3:43 left in the second. Getzlaf picked up his team-leading 50th assist of the season.
Perry earned his 400th assist on Henrique’s goal.
Anaheim logged its fifth consecutive 100-point season as a team.
“We had a plan. We tried to execute the plan. I’m not standing here saying it was perfect by any means, we had a lot of speed bumps on the way,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’ve got our group together here over the last six weeks and we’ve played good enough to gain points.”
NOTES: The Coyotes brought up D Joel Hanley on emergency recall from Tucson, their AHL affiliate, in time for Saturday’s game. ... C Clayton Keller, a rookie and the team’s leading scorer this season, was voted Coyotes Most Valuable Player for the season as voted on by local media. ... Ducks C Antoine Vermette and F Troy Terry played Saturday, Vermette’s first game since March 23 and Terry’s second of the season. F Jason Chimera and F J.T. Brown were scratched. ... A moment of silence was held in remembrance of lives lost in the fatal bus crash involving a junior hockey team in Canada Friday night.
Ducks: Western Conference playoffs vs. San Jose