Anaheim, California - Nick Cousins scored the lone goal and Antti Raanta stopped all three shots he faced to help the Coyotes win a shootout and their first game of the 2018-19 season at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.
Dylan Strome and Brad Richardson scored goals for the Coyotes in regulation to support Arizona's 3-2 victory over Anaheim.
Strome's goal, scored on a power play at 17:33 of the first period, ended the team's two-game goal-scoring drought to start the season and evened the score 1-1, countering a goal by Anaheim's Ryan Kesler in his first game of the season. After he scored, Strome raised both arms and looked to the roof of the rink in relief.
"I think everyone was kind of just like 'Oh, thank God,'" Strome said. "We definitely didn't want to go into the end of a period, another period, without scoring a goal. It felt good. We had a lot of chances earlier before that and (John) Gibson made some great saves. We found a way and one of those went in, so it was nice."
Tied 1-1, Richardson notched a short-handed goal at 5:24 of the second period. Michael Grabner set up the tally with a nifty pass from the right wing to cap a two-on-one rush.
Ben Street pulled Anaheim even at 2-2 when he scored his first career goal at 14:39 of the second period, but Raanta, who finished with 23 saves, did not allow another goal in the third period, the overtime session or the shootout.
"We played a great game and obviously we scored a couple goals so the confidence went straight up," Raanta said. "We had enough chances to win it in regulation, but sometimes you need to go a little further away and give a little extra time, and it was obviously nice to get a win from the shootout."
Cousins, who is 6 for 15 in shootouts, was the first skater Head Coach Rick Tocchet sent over the wall for the shootout. He beat Gibson with a shot after a slick backhand-forehand move.
"I just try not to overthink it," Cousins said of his approach to shootouts. "It's as simple as that. When you overthink it that's when you get yourself in trouble. I just try to go with my instincts and see what happens."
After Cousins scored, Raanta denied shots by Troy Terry and Jakob Silfverberg to secure the victory.
"I was just thinking 'You can be a hero today,'" Raanta said. "... I was a little bit lucky with those 5-hole saves, but some days you are lucky and get the win."
Ducks rookie Max Comtois crashed into Raanta at the end of a breakaway with 13:35 left in the first period. Raanta needed a few moments to recover from the collision but stayed in the game. Afterward, he told reporters he felt uneasy from the hit deep into the game.
"Obviously there was a little knock there, but I just battled through that and started to feel better in the third period," Raanta said. "First and second period were a little tough after the collision, but obviously, with a win, you're not feeling anything anymore. It feels really good and the confidence in this group is very high now."
Derek Stepan skated 19:26 in his 600th NHL game.
"It's cool," said Stepan, who's missed only 25 games since breaking into the NHL in 2010-11. "I give a lot of credit to the veterans when I first came in, and to my head coach, and to just knowing what it takes to keep your body in a spot to be able to play each night ... It's a big thing and something I work hard for - to try to be on the ice each night for our group. I like that I'm able to get to 600. Not many guys play one game in the NHL and I'm fortunate enough to have played 600."
Stepan is just the ninth player from the 2008 NHL Draft class to play 600 games. He was selected 51st overall by the New York Rangers.
A week into the season, the Coyotes, who out-shot the Ducks, 39-25, rank fourth in the NHL in shots per game at 36.7 and rank second in the NHL in shots against per game at 23.3.
Stats jumping off the Event Summary: Richardson took a game-high seven shots, Strome won 10 of 14 face-offs, and rookie Ilya Lyubushkin delivered a team-high five hits.
Arizona ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-1-) at Honda Center that dated to Nov. 9, 2015.
"We'll enjoy the win," Tocchet said. "It was fun, but hey, we've got to go back to work. We've got to work on our details, and then we're going to practice again, and then we're going to play Buffalo (on Saturday). That's the mantra."