By Dave Vest CALGARY – The Coyotes will conclude a brief two-game trip tonight with a game against the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (47-24-6) will enter the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 100 points, four points behind first-place San Jose, which plays at Dallas tonight.
Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera will start for the Coyotes, who lost to Vancouver, 4-1, on Tuesday night at GM Place. Phoenix was flat, and the Canucks pounced with two goals within the first 4:08.
"It's a good learning game for us," Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata said of Tuesday's loss. "It was good that it happened now rather than in the playoffs... We've got to learn from it, but on the other hand forget about it and play a good game (tonight)."
LaBarbera has won his past four starts and has stopped 121 of 128 shots in those games.
Calgary (38-29-9) will enter the game in desperation mode sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, four points behind eighth-place Colorado.
Time is running out for the Flames as they make a late-season push to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After tonight's game, the Flames have just five games left.
Flames center Mikael Backlund said the team can't afford to rely on other teams ahead of them to lose.
"We're trying to concentrate on ourselves," Backlund told the team's Web site. "We've got to win our own games. We have been struggling here. We've got to win almost every game left here. We've got to take one game at a time and win those."