NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, March 1st
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (28-24-11) at Phoenix Coyotes (33-21-9), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The hottest team in the NHL will try to carry over their
February success into a new month, as the Phoenix Coyotes shoot for a seventh
straight victory in tonight's home test against the struggling Calgary
In addition to winning their final six games in February, the Coyotes went
11-0-1 in 12 trips to the ice last month. The surge has helped put Phoenix two
points ahead of San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division.
Phoenix figures to have a strong chance of extending its hot streak tonight,
as the Coyotes have won the last six encounters with the Flames. However, both
of Phoenix's wins against Calgary this season came after regulation.
The Coyotes opened a three-game homestand on Tuesday with a win over the
Vancouver Canucks, who are currently leading the Western Conference. Ray
Whitney scored the game-tying goal in the third period and netted the
deciding goal in the shootout to lift Phoenix to the 2-1 decision.
Whitney opened the shootout with a wrister over the left shoulder of Cory
Schneider, and after Alexander Edler, Radim Vrbata and Mason Raymond were each
denied, Mikkel Boedker sealed the win for the Coyotes by faking right before
deking left and beating Schneider to the stick side.
"Their skill level and the pace that they play at is very high," Whitney said
about Vancouver. "We can't emphasize enough that the guy in net was the key
again for us today."
Mike Smith stood tall for the Coyotes, stopping 39-of-40 shots to extend his
personal win streak to a career-high 11 games, which is also a franchise
The Coyotes have won seven straight on home ice and are 17-10-4 as the host
Calgary, meanwhile, recently posted an 0-2-2 mark on a winless four-game
homestand. The Flames, who are just 12-14-7 as the guest this year, will visit
Anaheim tomorrow to complete a brief two-game road trip.
The Flames ended the residency on Monday with a 3-1 setback against the St.
Louis Blues. Curtis Glencross scored the lone goal for the Flames, who got 21
saves from Miikka Kiprusoff as they lost for the fifth time in six outings.
"We're not happy with the homestand we just had, obviously, but we need to get
back on the road again and get this thing straightened out and going in the
right direction," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said.
With 67 points, Calgary is currently outside of the Western Conference playoff
picture. The Flames are four points behind Dallas for the eighth seed.
The Flames have lost five straight in Phoenix since posting their last win in
the desert on Feb. 14, 2009.
03/01 10:52:51 ET