The Flames snapped their franchise-record home losing streak at
seven games with a well-earned 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on
"We needed that," said Flames center Matt Stajan, whose
second-period tally was the difference. "We've been fighting it here
on home ice, there's no secret to that."
Since last tasting victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames
celebrated Christmas and joined the world in ringing in the new
year. During the skid, they were outscored 22-4 and were shut out
Flames rookie center Sean Monahan gave his team an even more rare
event this season when he opened the scoring. The last time the
Flames scored first before their faithful came Dec. 12, the day Jay
Feaster was relieved of his duties as general manager.
"That was important for us, to get the first one," Flames defenseman
Mark Giordano said. "I thought we played a pretty aggressive game
all night and they're a team that, they sort of like to sit back and
counter-attack. When you get the lead on them, it's hard for them to
Calgary left winger Lance Bouma doubled the lead with a breakaway
tally just before the midway point and put the Coyotes in a familiar
"We've been down lately, it seems, in a lot of games," said Coyotes
right winger Shane Doan. "We've got to be better. We started the
game and had control of it, playing the way we want to, but they get
a fortunate bounce on one (goal). They get the next one and all of a
sudden we're chasing a game we kind of had control of."
Center Antoine Vermette's second short-handed goal in as many
outings put Phoenix on the board, but Stajan, who signed a four-year
contract extension a couple of days earlier, restored Calgary's
two-goal edge minutes later.
"Again, it was just a matter of staying aggressive," Giordano said.
"We give them that short-handed one and those can be killer some
nights but tonight, I thought we did a good job. We stayed
aggressive and found a way to get that third one which was a huge
Doan made it a one-goal game early in the final frame, but the
Coyotes couldn't find the equalizer against goalie Karri Ramo, who
made 30 saves while backstopping the Flames (17-27-7) to just their
third win in 14 outings.
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"I think it takes a good game from everybody and if
goaltending is leaking a lot, it's harder for our guys," said
Ramo, who also collected an assist. "You need to be there to
give confidence to the team. It's team work and I think we did
Phoenix netminder Mike Smith stopped 23 shots. The Coyotes
(23-18-9) have only three victories in their past 11 games,
dropping them outside of a playoff spot.
"Lately we've been playing the way we want to a lot more. It's
been better, but not good enough," Doan said.
"Look at our record. We've been average, if that, and we've got
a lot better team than an average team."
"We had lots of try, but it seems like every time we make a
mistake it ends up in our net," added Phoenix coach Dave
Tippett. "We put another sixty-some attempts at net tonight and
just don't get enough generated, enough finish, in there.
"We're at a state now when just playing hard doesn't get you
wins. You've got to find ways to win."
NOTES: Flames LW Michael Cammalleri, who has been out of action
for 10 days due to a concussion, is expected to begin skating in
the next day or two in anticipation of returning to the lineup
... Coyotes C Martin Hanzal missed his second consecutive game
due to an undisclosed injury. Hanzal took to the ice during the
morning skate, but quickly left ... Phoenix G Mike Smith, who
was named to Canada's Olympic team, said his family won't be
going to Russia in part due to safety concerns in light of
terrorist threats. "It's not worth it for myself thinking, 'Is
she OK?' when I'm not with her. It's unfortunate, but it's the
way it is," he said. His wife, Brigitte, is a two-time Olympian,
having skied for Canada in 2006 and 2010 ... Flames C Paul Byron
has the shot blocking protective guards many players are wearing
these days to thank for him not being sidelined with a broken
foot. Byron left Monday's game against the San Jose Sharks after
being hit in the foot by a shot puck, but the result was just a
painful bruise. "They don't take away the pain. They take away
the injuries," Byron said.
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