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Calgary Flames take a 3-0 Series lead versus Arizona Coyotes

Brian Elliott gets his first December Start, and Win Since October in a 4-2 Flames victory.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Game notes:

Last game versus the Coyotes was December 8th, with the Flames winning the 2nd of a 5-game series against the division rivals - Dougie Hamilton with the OT winner in the last game for a 2-1 Flames win.

Garnet Hathaway is back in the line-up for the Calgary Flames in exchange for Lance Bouma. Monahan continues to skate alongside Versteeg & Brouwer. Gaudreau with Bennett & Chaisson.

Elliott starts in net for the Flames, after Johnson drops 2-straight. Elliott made a short appearance in the 3rd period versus Tampa Bay this month.

Here’s the Preview

1st period (Flames are outshot 15-7, Elliott with an Early give-away)

Coyotes get a free-bee off of Elliott’s failed clearing attempt, as the puck bounces off of Jooris’ chest to #18 Dvorak for the empty-netter, as Elliott struggles to get back in the crease in time. Making it 1-0 for Yotes in the first half of the period, Yotes outshooting the Flames 11-0 to start.

Elliott makes a big glove save, and the Flames kill their first Penalty of the game, as Frolik goes off for Tripping. Flames fans scream for Elliott to stay in the crease - as he almost makes another bad clearing attempt.

Refs miss a holding call against Yotes as T.J. Brodie is taken down. Yotes #33 Goligoski goes off for cross-checking Versteeg, and the Flames go on their first PP of the game at 5:37 left in the period. Flames on a hot streak scoring with a man advantage in their last 7 games. They fail to capitalize in the 1st, starting their PP 0/1, as Smith makes the save on Versteegs point shot, and Gaudreaus wrister.

Luke Schenn and Garnet Hathaway having words to end the 1st, as Ferland banks the puck off Smiths mask. Elliott makes a late save on Shane Doan, keeping the Flames deficit at 1.

2nd period (Elliott faces just 2 shots as Flames outshoot Coyotes 12-2)

Flames Backlund gets an early chance with a well measured Frolik pass, but Smith makes the stop. Flames head off to their 2nd PP of the game, as Yotes #6 gets time in the hot box. Smith makes a glove save on Tkachuks snipe, ending the Flames PP, and keeping it 1-0 Yotes.

Refs don’t miss the elbowing on Versteeg, #88 goes off for the Yotes. Flames even out the scoreboard with a PP goal by Backlund, as Yotes turnover the puck, and Tkachuk finds Dougie Hamilton from behind the net - Hamilton putting it out front allowing #11 to get his 6th goal.

Flames Engelland then gets back at #88 - dropping the gloves and unleashing a couple of right hooks - that’ll teach him not to mess with his teammate.

Flames getting aggressive this period as Ferland throws Yotes player Stone into the boards. Hits are even at 17-17 in the second half of the 2nd period.

With a delay-of-game call against the Coyotes the Flames go on their 4th PP. Flames are 1/4 with no shots on this PP, however outshooting the Yotes 12-2 to end the period, not allowing a shot by their opponents until the last few minutes.

Things get even more heated in the last seconds of the 2nd period, as Flames Frolik and Yotes Doan get 2 mins each for roughing, Doan with an additional minor penalty for high-sticking. The 2nd ends in a 1-1 tie, with the Flames to resume the 3rd with 1:23 left in their 5th PP of the night.

3rd period (Shots even out a bit at 28-26, Flames get 2 PP Goals in 3rd)

Flames start the 3rd with Brouwer getting the PP goal as Gaudreau loses the puck prior to getting rocked by Goligoski. Flames take the lead 2-1, 20 seconds into the period, improving their PP to 2/5.

Dougie goes off for Tripping 5 mins in and Flames are able to kill off the Yotes 2nd PP of the night - Yotes not able to get a shot away.

Monahan goes off for cross-checking, and Flames continue to play well short-handed. Disallowing a Yotes goal - Elliott squaring to the puck, making the saves and keeping the Flames in the lead.

Elliott lets in a weak goal after his PK saves, as the Flames offside challenge on the Yotes is declined - with that the game is tied 2-2 with under 10 minutes left to play.

Yotes all over Johnny Gaudreau, as he draws a penalty on Captain Shane Doan. Flames improve their PP stats as a 4-way passing game turns into a tipped goal by Versteeg off of Monahan - Chaisson with the secondary assist.

Flames able to kill off a Yotes 2-man advantage with just 5 minutes left to play - and hold on to win 4-2, with the Flames empty-net goal by TJ Brodie, making the series record 3-0 of 5 thus far in favour of Calgary. Flames get 3 PP goals to win the game.

Highlights:

Versteeg & Brouwer both have a 2-pt game - a goal and assist each. Arizona native Tkachuk also gets 2-pts (2 assists) increasing his points to 17.

Elliott gets his 5th win in 15GP, adding up to a 8-2-0 record versus Arizona. His last start in net was November 28th in a loss to the Isles. He also played the 3rd period versus Tampa Bay this month - after Johnson was pulled - making stops on 12 of 13 shots.

Flames finish on a good note with 3/6 on the PP, and 5/5 on the PK as the special teams get a stats boost. Elliott gets his 1st win since October 28th against the Senators - great for his morale as Flames gain 2 much needed division points. Flames are currently (17-15-2) sitting 4th in the Pacific with 36 points.

Game Notes:

Matt Stajan with a -1 (in just over 10mins TOI) on his 33rd birthday.

Both Engelland & Gaudreau briefly left the game on two separate occasions under the concussion protocol. Both teams rack up penalty minutes of 30 and 40 respectively in the last two match-ups between the teams.

Next Game:

The Calgary Flames play Arizona Coyotes again on New Years eve at home.

Their next game is versus the San Jose Sharks tomorrow on their short back-to-back 2-game road trip.