By Dave Vest
CALGARY – The Coyotes will attempt to beat the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome for the third time in a row tonight. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (13-10-1) enters the game eager to erase its last outing – a 4-0 loss at Edmonton – from memory. Head Coach Dave Tippett publicly questioned the desire of some of his players after that game and then held one-on-one meetings with several of them after Tuesday’s practice.
Ilya Bryzgalov will make his fifth consecutive start in goal for Phoenix.
Coyotes defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek, both of whom have been nursing lower-body injuries, again worked out with teammates on Wednesday morning and likely will return to the lineup after missing eight and nine games, respectively.
Center Martin Hanzal definitely will return to the lineup after missing Monday's game.
Calgary (13-6-3) has been slumping at home with just one win in its past five games.
Captain Jarome Iginla has carried the Flames offensively since being challenged by Head Coach Brent Sutter.
“He’s got a real good work ethic and that’s what makes him so good,” said Coyotes defenseman Jim Vandermeer, who played with Iginla and the Flames for two seasons before coming to Phoenix in an off-season trade. “He’s one of those players that always seems to be in the right place at the right time and it’s not by accident. He’s a smart player and he’s got a good shot, and whenever he shoots the puck it just seems to go in.”
Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has two goals and three assists in his past eight games, and has played 29 shifts or more in each of those games.
Flames right wing Jarome Iginla has notched at least one point in nine of the past 10 games, and has scored 12 of Calgary's 25 goals in November.
Three Coyotes who played for Calgary last season - Matthew Lombardi, Adrian Aucoin and Jim Vandermeer - will play at the Pengrowth Saddledome for the first time since their respective departures.
Seven of Calgary's forwards once played for Phoenix, including center Olli Jokinen, who has notched three goals and 12 assists in 22 games this season.
Coyotes Assistant Coach Dave King's first head coaching job in the NHL was with Calgary from 1992-1995. King posted a 109-76-31 record with Calgary in three seasons and led the Flames to the playoffs each year.
"They play with a lot of energy, and we've got to come out and match that energy and intensity and have fun with it."