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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Arizona Coyotes 12/8/16 (30/82)

The Flames are in the desert as they take on the Coyotes in the first of 3 games this month between these division rivals.

Calgary Flames v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Calgary Flames @ Arizona Coyotes, 7 PM MT, Gila River Arena, Glendale AZ
Broadcast Schedule
TV: Fox Sports Arizona, RSNF
Radio: Sportsnet 960

Don’t look now, but the Calgary Flames are one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Calgary has won 4 of their last 5 and gone 9-3-1 since snapping a 4 game losing streak back in early November. The Flames have vaulted to 3rd place in the Pacific on the back of Chad Johnson and a renewed special teams unit that is scoring and killing penalties. In case you haven’t heard, the Flames have killed 27 out of 29 chances and they’ve gotten power play goals in 5 out of their last 10 games.

Calgary is in Arizona tonight to take on the 10th place Coyotes in a Western Conference show down. The last time these two teams met the Flames took down the Desert Dogs 2-1 in OT and got stellar goaltending from Chad Johnson. Arizona and Calgary will get very familiar with each other in the month of December as they will play each other 3 times, culminating in a New Year’s Eve battle at the Dome.

While Calgary has been climbing the standings, the Coyotes have been doing the exact opposite. Arizona has dropped 5 straight and have only scored 3 goals or more three times this season. The Coyotes haven’t been good by any stretch of the imagination, but they’ve run into some bad luck as well. They’ve played 8 games past regulation time and have dropped 4 of them. The other thing hurting Arizona is that they are streaky and not in a good way. Their current 0-4-1 stretch is the 3rd time they’ve had losing streaks of 4 or more this season.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames Arizona Coyotes
14-13-2 Record 8-13-4
30 Points 20
3rd Pacific Division 7th Pacific
5th West Conference 10th West
4-0-1 Last 5 0-4-1
71 Goals For 55
82 Goals Against 79
Monahan (8) Goals Vrbata (8)
Frolik (15) Points Vrbata (17)
Johnson (.931) Save % Smith (.924)
13.5 % (28th) PP % 14.9 % (22nd)
78.3 % (26th) PK % 80.2 % (22nd)

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed) Record GAA Save %
Flames: Johnson (E) 11-4-1 2.04 .931
Coyotes: Smith (E) 4-3-3 2.77 .924

Calgary Flames 2 Dallas Stars 1

The Flames last took to the ice on Tuesday night and beat the Dallas Stars 2-1. This was a game that the Flames could have won by at least 3 goals, but Kari Lehtonen held the Flames in check. In the other crease, Chad Johnson gave his all and the Flames held on for the 2-1 victory. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had goals for the Flames and aforementioned Johnson stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced. Here’s our recap, the highlights, Glen Gulutzan’s post game thoughts and the stats from the contest.

Flames Stats vs Dallas Stars 12/6/16
Goals Shots Shots Allowed Hits PIM FOW Giveaways Takeaways PP PK
2 20 30 18 4 28/61 6 3 1/2 2/2

Arizona Coyotes 0 Chicago Blackhawks 4

The Arizona Coyotes dropped their 4th game in 5 tries as they were shut out by the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night, 4-0. Mike Smith gave up 4 goals on 27 shots and the ‘Yotes had no answer for Marian Hossa and his 2 goals. Five For Howling has the recap and provides the highlights.

Players to Watch

Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau (F). Gaudreau is back and the Flames look like a much different team. Since returning in a 8-3 white washing of the Ducks, Gaudreau has 4 points (2G 2A) and one of his assists came on Sean Monahan’s game winning, power play goal against Dallas. Gaudreau appears to be showing no ill effects from the broken finger he had surgery on after being slashed to pieces against the Wild back on November 15th. In his short career Gaudreau has feasted on the Coyotes, getting 8 points in 9 games.

San Jose Sharks v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Coyotes: Alex Goligoski (D). Goligoski has yet to score on the season, but the American born defenceman has 10 assists. He’s gotten two of those 10 so far this month and where he really excels is at home. Of his 10 helpers this season, 6 have come at Gila River Arena. Goligoski was held without a point in the first meeting between these two teams.