The Flames returned home to a Coyotes team that is fighting for their playoff lives and Calgary handled them to the tune of a 5-2 victory Monday afternoon.
The final score isn’t totally indicitive of how the game was played as Arizona really pushed back after the Flames grabbed their first two leads of this contest. Calgary looked like a team that was happy to be home early on as they pushed the pace of play and opened the scoring on the day. Derek Ryan would collect the Flames first marker of the day, his 6th of the season as he continued his hot play. That goal would be the only puck to find the back of the net in the first period and the Flames would head to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
That lead would stand until about six minutes into the period when Conor Garland would race in and fire a beautiful backhand shot at Mike Smith and beat the Flames keeper to tie this game at 1-1. As they would do another time today, the Flames would regain the lead, this time five minutes after Arizona’s equalizer. Mark Giordano would receive a perfect pass from Matthew Tkachuk and race into to score his 13th of the season, tying his career high of 57 points and give the Flames a 2-1 lead. Jordan Weal would tie the game with a little under six minutes left in the period, but that 2-2 game wouldn’t stick around for long. The red hot Austin Czarnik would be the benficiary of Sam Bennett’s hard work and take a pass from him in the slot and bury his 4th goal of the season and Calgary would take a 3-2 lead into the third period.
The Flames put the pressure on in the final 20 minutes and the Coyotes didn’t have much in the way of an answer. The Flames would finally get some man up time as they would get two PPO and squander them both, but it certainly wasn’t all bad news. The Flames would score two more times in the period off the sticks of Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund and Calgary would start their brief homestand with a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
1st: 1:34- Ryan (6) (Giordano/Hathaway)
2nd: 11:20- Giordano (13) (Tkachuk/Andersson), 16:47- Czarnik (4) (Bennett/Andersson)
3rd: 5:48- Frolik (13) (Lindholm/Backlund), 18:48- (Empty net) Backlund (14) (Frolik/Lindholm)
2nd: 6:27- Garland (12) (Cousins), 14:21- (PPG) Weal (Galechenyuk/Ekman-Larsson)
Calgary needed a game like this where they could have a little breathing room and not have to fight for every puck and every goal like it was their last. The Flames bottom six was once again strong as they accounted for two of Calgary’s goals on the day and collected two assists as well. Everyone talks about the Flames needing scoring depth, but the third and fourth lines have been picking up the slack when the top line is off.
Rasmuss Andersson spent the afternoon paired up with Mark Giordano due to T.J. Brodie’s being out of the lineup and Andersson filled that role perfectly. He collected two assists on the day and the rookie defenceman looked like the perfect partner for the Flames captain.
Mike Smith got his third straight start and he looked very confident between the pipes today. Smith stopped 27 of the 29 shots that came his way, handled the puck with ease and allowed the Flames to take their third straight game from Arizona.
Flame Of The Game
Michael Frolik (F): Frolik has had a weird season from being injured to being benched to being moved all throughout the lineup, but he looked like the Frolik of old today. He had a two point day (1G, 1A) and it’s his second straight game with a goal. If he can keep this type of play up, the Flames will be in good shape come the stretch run.
2/20: Calgary Flames vs NY Islanders, 7:30 PM MT