The Coyotes came out strong in the first period and seemed to be dominating in their first game back from the All-Star break. It is usually Ray Whitney feeding the puck to Radim Vrbata for a goal, but 7:39 into the first period Vrabta found Whitney sitting back door for an easy goal after a Ducks turnover. The duo have combined for 83 points this season.
Any momentum the Coyotes had gained during the first period was quickly taken away in a 7-minute span of the second period. Cogliano would score three goals in that time, giving him not only his first career hat trick but also a natural hat trick.
Two of the three goals are ones that Coyote goaltender Mike Smith will want back. Cogliano's first came after Smith got caught behind the net and let a bad angle shot slide by. Cogliano's final goal would be a fluttering backhand that somehow found its way past Smith's pads. Smith was pulled by coach Dave Tippett after the series of goals in favor of Jason LaBarbera. Smith would stop 15 shots and LaBarbera 11.
In the third period it looked like the Coyotes would cut into the lead after Whitney put in his second goal on a two-man advantage, but the referees would wave the goal off due to Martin Hanzal interfering with Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller. To call the referee's decision controversial would be an understatement. It was a momentum killer for the 'Yotes who were in desperate need of something to change the flow of the game.
Teemu Selanne would score his 16th goal of the season on an empty net to solidify the 4-1 win.
The loss gives the Coyotes a conclusion to an abysmal month of January. The Coyotes went 3-5-4 during the month and now have a team that was once making camp in the basement of the Pacific Division nipping at their heels. The Coyotes will have a chance to get back on track Saturday against the division leading San Jose Sharks.
The game is at 6 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. It will also be Buck Bash night at Jobing.com Arena where fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs, soda and beer.