NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 15th
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (27-33-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (31-25-11), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Following a split of a four-game road trip out east, the
Phoenix Coyotes return home on Saturday night to take on the Calgary Flames
and attempt to keep pace in the playoff race.
The Coyotes were looking to close out their trip with three victories in four
games as they headed into Thursday night's meeting with Boston off wins at
Tampa Bay and Florida, but managed just a single goal in a 2-1 setback to the
Phoenix outshot Boston 22-20, but just two of those shots came in the second
period and the Bruins carried a 2-0 edge into the third period. Lauri
Korpikoski got the Coyotes on the board at the 8:14 mark when he tipped home a
shot from the point by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but Phoenix couldn't convert any
of its 11 other chances into goals.
"It would have been huge to beat a good team like Boston, and we had the
chance. We just didn't play well enough," said Korpikoski.
Skating in his 1,300th career game, Shane Doan had an assist, while goaltender
Mike Smith finished with 18 saves.
The Coyotes enter play two points back of the Dallas Stars for the second wild
card spot in the Western Conference and are expected to be without forward
Martin Erat. He missed Thursday's game with an upper-body injury, while Martin
Hanzal remains sidelined with a lower-body ailment. His status is unknown.
The Flames actually prevented the Stars from extending their lead by another
point over the Coyotes but picking up a 4-3 shootout victory in Dallas.
Calgary trailed by two goals going into the third frame, but rallied to tie
things before Corban Knight potted the deciding marker in the fourth round of
Mike Cammalleri scored twice, including the tying goal in the third period,
and Paul Byron also scored for the Flames, who have won two straight and four
of their last six.
"It was a great third period and a great comeback," said Calgary head coach
Bob Hartley. "We had some good parts in the first and second, but we made some
mistakes on our goals and they made us pay for it. They're a dangerous team,
but we never quit and that's why this group is so special."
Joey MacDonald finished the game with 22 stops as he made his first start in
the NHL since Nov. 1.
Rookie Joni Ortio is likely to start tonight for his seventh NHL start and
first versus Coyotes.
The Flames and Coyotes have split four previous meetings this season, with
each team winning twice at home.
Phoenix logged a 6-0 victory in the most recent encounter in the desert on
Jan. 7 and has won eight of the last nine contests on home ice in this series.
Smith is 5-4-1 with a 2.55 goals against average in 10 previous games versus
03/15 10:41:06 ET