Tonight at the Saddledome, the Calgary Flames will host the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30 PM MST. It's the fourth of five contests this season between the two. The Coyotes won in Phoenix, 4-2 on October 22nd, the Flames took a 4-1 decision in Calgary on December 4th, and the Coyotes whitewashed the Flames, 6-0 in Phoenix on January 7th. They'll finish up back in the desert again on March 15th.
Flames @ Coyotes Highlights 1/7/14 (via NHL)
Mike Cammalleri explained the situation:
The first period was a good period. Then we had a couple of bounces and we started to get away from it and get discouraged. But we played a team that's had the success they've had by staying patient and sticking with it. We saw the snowball effect. They did it the right way and we did it the wrong way tonight.
Calgary's last matchup, in San Jose on Monday night, would see each team score twice in the first period before Joe Pavelski (27, PP) scored his second goal of the game with five minutes left in the second. Jiri Hudler (13) and Kevin Westgarth (1) lit the lamp for Calgary, and Tommy Wingels added one for San Jose. Karri Ramo stopped 24-of-27 shots in the losing efforts. Antti Niemi continued his career domination of the Flames, with his 12 victory in 15 games against them (23 saves). * Full Recap * Box Score
After the game, Matt Stajan spoke to the media:
We're disappointed in the loss, but you can't fault the effort. We had our chances. If we continue to work like that we’ll give ourselves a chance no doubt about it. It just wasn't good enough to win tonight.
Fear the Fin has more on the Sharks.
Gametime: 9:30 MST
Season Series: Coyotes lead 2-1, and can clinch the season against Calgary with a win tonight.
All-Time Series: Calgary is 81-68-20-6 against the Coyotes/ex-Winnipeg Jets.
Flames: 16-27-7, .390, 39 points. Sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, 28th in the NHL.
Last Five: W-L-L-O-L, Playoff odds: .01%
Coyotes: 23-17-9, .561, 55 points. Fifth in the Pacific Division, ninth in the Western Conference, 16th in the NHL. Last Five: L-L-W-W-L, Playoff odds: 44.6%
You could certainly argue that Phoenix needs the two points more than the Flames do, but after going 3-11-4 in their last 18 matches, Calgary could use a shot in the arm as well. It'd also do to see the Flames try to put the whole "fourth-line" debacle behind them. Stajan, Cammalleri, Monahan and Stempniak all get at least a point tonight. The Flames put up a fight, but go down swinging, 5-3 with an empty netter at the end. Let's hope they prove me wrong.
Join us later in the GameThread, just before the faceoff.