By Dave Vest
The Coyotes are in a goal-scoring slump and it’s costing them points in the standings.
The Calgary Flames took advantage of Phoenix’s inability to create chances and finish the few decent ones they did create for a second straight game in the province of Alberta and beat the Coyotes, 2-1, at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday night.
“It’s starting to get a little monotonous, the fact that we can’t score, and it starts with me,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan
, who failed to put a juicy rebound past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff with 2:15 left in the third period. “There’s absolutely nothing positive to take out of that (game).”
Trailing 1-0 after two periods, the Coyotes (13-11-1) evened the score at 10:30 of the third when defenseman Keith Yandle
one-timed a pass from David Schlemko
past a partially-screened Kiprusoff with three seconds left on a power play.
The Flames (14-6-3), losers of four of thier previous five home games, regained the lead less than four minutes later on a goal by Nigel Dawes (see Key Moment below).
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
stopped Calgary’s first 16 shots, but the 17th, off the stick of Daymond Langkow following a Phoenix turnover, got past him at 17:20 of the second period.
Phoenix threatened to score early in the game but Kiprusoff, who finished with 27 saves, thwarted back-to-back shots by Vernon Fiddler
and Daniel Winnik to keep the game scoreless.
Flames forward David Moss set up the game-winning goal by sliding a slick pass to teammate Nigel Dawes from behind the Coyotes net. Dawes, who played briefly for Phoenix last season, promptly knocked the puck off Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
’s right shoulder and into the goal at 14:16 of the third period.
• The Coyotes received an emotional lift by the return to the lineup of injured defensemen/alternate captains Ed Jovanovski
and Zbynek Michalek from lower-body injuries. Michalek was injured on Nov. 4 at Colorado and missed nine games. Jovanovski was injured the next night vs. Chicago and missed eight games. Michalek played 20:25 and Jovanovski played 20:03 in their first games back. Neither was on the ice when any of the goals were scored.
• Forward Radim Vrbata
led the Coyotes with five shots on goal. In the past five games, Vrbata has fired 28 shots on opposing netminders.
• Center Martin Hanzal
returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s 4-0 loss at Edmonton because of a minor lower-body injury. Playing in front of Flames Head Coach Brent Sutter, aka his Western Hockey League coach, Hanzal won seven of 10 faceoffs.
• Enforcer Paul Bissonnette
fought Calgary’s Brandon Prust in the first period. It was Bissonnette’s ninth bout in 17 games.
• Captain Shane Doan
has scored just one goal in 13 road games this season.
• The Coyotes committed only two penalties, including Bissonnette’s fight. Replays indicated the other penalty, a tripping infraction called on defenseman David Schlemko
, was not a good call.
• The Coyotes scratched Lauri Korpikoski
and Sami Lepisto
. Calgary scratched Staffan Kronwall, Brian McGrattan and Cory Sarich.