Anthony Perez | Dave Vest GLENDALE – Led by Vernon Fiddler’s first career hat trick, the Coyotes defeated the Calgary Flames, 5-4, on Friday night at Jobing.com Arena.
The Flames struck first when Rene Borque netted his eighth goal of the season at the 9:24 mark of the first period to give his team a 1-0 advantage.
But the second period belonged to the Coyotes (6-5-5), who scored three goals before the period was half over.
Fiddler buried a wrist shot just 1:34 into the period to tie the score at one apiece. At the 5:22 mark, Lee Stempniak found the back of the net off a cross-ice pass from Wojtek Wolski to pick up his fifth goal of the season and give Phoenix a 2-1 lead. Scottie Upshall completed the second-period scoring for the Coyotes (see KEY MOMENT below).
At the 12:32 mark of the second period, Coyotes forward Eric Belanger was called for a cross-checking penalty, which led to an Ian White power-play goal just eight seconds later to cut the Phoenix lead to 3-2.
Fiddler notched his second goal of the night at the 12:24 mark of the third period when Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff left a loose puck in the crease and Fiddler tapped it in to put the Coyotes back up by two.
“I was just skating by to skate around the net, just in case, and I got lucky,” Fiddler said. “It was just sitting there and he (Kiprusoff) had no idea where it was. Luckily the ref didn’t blow it (the whistle).”
Fiddler’s third goal came with 1:38 left in the game with Calgary's net empty. Oddly, it turned out to be the game-winning goal. That's because Calgary (7-8-0) scored twice in the game's final minute to make things interesting.
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 31 of the 35 five shots he faced, while Kiprusoff saved 21 of the 25 shots he faced in the losing effort.
Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall made the score 3-1 at 8:21 of the second period. Ray Whitney fed Upshall a pass off a turnover, and Upshall skated the puck up the ice and then fired a hard slap shot from atop the left faceoff circle that beat Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
• The Coyotes' next game is on Saturday vs. the St. Louis Blues at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona (tape delay after the ASU/Stanford football game). It can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"Any hat trick would be special, but I grew up an Oilers fan and we didn't like the Flames very much. In street hockey, you always wanted to beat the Flames."
"We played well in Detroit and snuck out two points in Chicago so this was a game we really wanted. We've had trouble putting back-to-back wins together and we did it against a good team that really came at us."
"We didn't commit too many turnovers, but it seemed like they capitalized on every one. We had a lot of good scoring chances, we played pretty well defensively. We just didn't do enough."
• Nov. 17, 2010:
• March 15, 2011:
• Nov. 12, 2010: PHX 5, CAL 4 • March 10, 2011:
1 - 0 CGY
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 PHX
3 - 1 PHX
3 - 2 PHX
4 - 2 PHX
5 - 2 PHX
5 - 3 PHX
5 - 4 PHX