NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 15th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (36-23-11) at Calgary Flames (36-26-9), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes played a part in cooling off the Calgary Flames last week and they will try to sweep the season series between the clubs for the first time in nine years tonight at the Saddledome.
The Coyotes have points in four straight (3-0-1) since a five-game slide and that includes a 3-0 home win over the Flames last Thursday. Ilya Bryzgalov made 38 saves for his sixth shutout of the season as Phoenix picked up its fifth victory in its last six versus Calgary.
The Coyotes, who snapped a two-game series road losing streak with a 3-1 win at the Saddledome on Nov. 17, haven't swept this four-game series set since 2001-02.
The Flames had won three straight and five of six prior to that loss to the Coyotes and, coupled with Saturday's 4-3 defeat to the Canucks, have lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 3 and 5. Calgary is still holding onto the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference with 81 points, just one up on Nashville.
The Coyotes are two points ahead of the Flames, leaving them tied with the Kings for the fourth spot out West.
Calgary raced out to a quick 2-0 lead versus Vancouver on goals by Mikael Backlund and Matt Stajan just 3:32 in. David Moss also scored and Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves in the opener of a three-game homestand. Calgary had won three straight and five of its last seven as the host.
"We liked the way we started the game," said Flames assistant coach Dave Lowry. "They're a good hockey team, very opportunistic, and we had a couple breakdowns and they capitalized."
Kiprusoff did not start last week's meeting and is 12-8-2 with a 2.30 goals- against average lifetime versus Phoenix.
The Coyotes carried their momentum from the win over the Flames with a 5-2 triumph against the Ducks, Phoenix's second straight win overall that halted a four-game road slide in the opener of a four-game swing.
Lauri Korpikoski scored twice and Shane Doan ended with a goal and two assists. Bryzgalov posted 36 saves.
"It's huge for us just to find ways to win games," said Doan, who scored in a third straight game and has six tallies and 15 points in his past 14 games. "The fun thing about being on this team is that we count on every single guy."
Though Ray Whitney returned from a two-game absence due to a lower-body injury, the Coyotes remained without Rostislav Klesla (head) and Martin Hanzal (lower body) due to injury. Andrew Ebbett also left the game in the second period due to an upper-body ailment.
The Coyotes trail the Sharks by three points for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Bryzgalov is 8-7-1 with a 2.60 GAA in his career against Calgary.
03/15 10:59:31 ET