Season series: This is the third and final meeting of the regular season. The Coyotes and Flames have split their two matchups, with the home team victorious in each. Mike Smith turned in a 30-save performance in a 4-0 shutout for the Coyotes on Feb. 18, while Curtis Glencross scored with one minute remaining in a come-from-behind 5-4 win for the Flames six days later.
Big story: Phoenix currently holds sole possession of ninth place in the pack of teams sitting below the cutoff line in the Western Conference, and with Smith healthy again and looking a lot like the guy who carried the Coyotes through the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, the teams above them may be starting to sweat a little.
Coyotes: Facing off against a fellow bottom-seven team that still has postseason aspirations, Phoenix rode Smith's hot goaltending and a pair of second-period tallies to a 3-1 win in Edmonton on Wednesday. It was only Phoenix's fifth win away from Glendale in 19 tries.
"We haven't been as strong as we would like to be on the road," captain Shane Doan said. "We have five games left away from home and we need to answer some questions. We need to stay above .500 on the road the rest of the way."
The Coyotes recognize that there is little room for error over the last two weeks of the regular season.
"It's tight in the standings and there aren't too many games left," center Antoine Vermette said. "We are well aware of the situation we are in and how important every single point is right now."
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has recorded one goal and six assists during a five-game point streak versus the Flames.
Forward Lauri Korpikoski, who has missed the past eight games because of an upper-body injury, may return to the lineup tonight.
Flames: A five-minute stretch late in the third period Wednesday was enough to sink Calgary after it played more than 50 minutes of solid hockey against its Northwest Division rival Vancouver. Glencross opened the scoring in the latter stages of the first, and though the Canucks drew even 64 seconds later the Flames kept peppering Roberto Luongo with shots as the teams stayed tied past the midway point of the third. That's when the Canucks erupted for three goals in a span of 4:50 to deal the Flames a 4-1 defeat.
"A couple breakdowns -- a rebound goal, a power-play goal," Maxwell Reinhart, who picked up an assist for his first NHL point, told the Calgary Herald. "I haven't been here very long, but I thought we threw a lot of pucks at net and got traffic there. Looking at the shot clock, we got a lot more shots than them. I mean, that's just how hockey goes sometimes."
Who's hot: After not scoring all season, Coyotes center Boyd Gordon has scored four goals in the past eight games. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith has stopped 93 of 95 shots (.979 save percentage) over three games since returning from injury.
Injury report: Phoenix forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) has missed the past eight games. … Calgary has been playing without defenseman Derek Smith (lower body) and forwards Paul Byron (hand), Brian McGrattan (shoulder), Jiri Hudler (upper body) and Matt Stajan (upper body).
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