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Arizona Coyotes’ special teams pave way for 4-2 loss against Calgary Flames

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The Flames scored three power play goals as the Yotes’ own special teams failed to produce on all levels.

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

Going into tonight’s match the Arizona Coyotes were ranked 1st for penalty killing on home ice. Unfortunately this didn’t phase the Calgary Flames as they piled on three power play goals while being gifted power play opportunities around the clock by the undisciplined play of those in the Sedona Red.

Meanwhile Arizona failed to capitalize on the shaky return of Calgary’s netminder Brian Elliot and went 0 for 5 during their own power play opportunities. The failure of the special teams led Arizona to a 4-2 loss despite being the better team at even-strength, statistically speaking.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona: Caught behind his own net, Flames’ goaltender Brian Elliott attempted to clear the puck along the boards. Fortunately for the Coyotes, Elliott only cleared the puck as far as Josh Jooris who had closed down on Elliott behind the goal line. Jooris then managed to bounce the puck to the nearby Christian Dvorak who backhanded the puck in for what was essentially an empty net goal. Assist to Josh Jooris at 5:12.

Second Period

1-1 Tie: An incredibly smooth Calgary power play found the puck in the back of Arizona’s net courtesy of Mikael Backlund. The Coyotes could do little but watch the puck perfectly move tape to tape around their defensive zone. Assists to Dougie Hamilton and Matthew Tkachuk at 8:30.

Third Period

2-1 Calgary: Starting on the power play from a carry over 2nd period penalty, the Flames took no time to cash in as Troy Brouwer scored from the slot on a rush after the opening face-off of the period. Assists to Johnny Gaudreau and Kris Versteeg at 0:20.

2-2 Tie: A weak Ryan White shot from the boards hit the top of Brian Elliott’s pads before rolling over to behind the goaltender. Elliott was unaware of the puck’s location behind him as it slowly rolled into the back of the net on its side. Assist to Christian Dvorak at 9:07.

3-2 Calgary: With Shane Doan in the box for elbowing, the Calgary Flames scored another incredibly beautiful power play goal in a matter of seconds with a flurry of tic-tac-toe passes resulting in an easy goal on a wide open net for Kris Versteeg. Assists to Sean Monahan and Troy Brouwer at 12:25.

4-2 Calgary: Empty net goal for T.J. Brodie. Assist to Matthew Tkachuk at 19:00.

Three Answers

  1. Which Coyotes team will show up tonight? - The Coyotes team that showed up tonight was sometimes the team that was invisible in Minnesota and at other times they looked like the team that beat the Leafs. A frustrating mix of hope and apathy.
  2. Will the Flames yet again find their stride? - The Flames as a whole weren’t particularly convincing but somehow they managed to keep the Coyotes’ to only 2 goals. Calgary’s power play certainly found its stride, scoring 3 very pretty goals.
  3. Will the Captain score #400? - Unfortunately no. Shane Doan had a forgettable game as he only recorded 1 shot, 1 hit and 1 block while recording 6 penalty minutes in 12:22 minutes of ice time.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Christian Dvorak - Played on the most productive line of the night for the Coyotes, the 4th line, scoring an early goal off a Josh Jooris pass and assisting later on on Ryan White’s 3rd period goal. Dvorak now has 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points in 28 games - not too shabby for a rookie playing 4th line minutes.

Calgary - Kris Versteeg - Scored the game winning goal for the Flames and assisted on Troy Brouwer’s earlier goal.

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Calgary Flames, check out Matchsticks & Gasoline.
  • Scratched for the Coyotes were Brendan Perlini, Anthony DeAngelo and Kevin Connauton.
  • After the first 10 minutes of play, Arizona had recorded 10 shots on goal while Calgary had failed to record any. The 1st period finished with the Coyotes out shooting the Flames 15 to 7.
  • Conversely, the Coyotes proceeded to be out-shot by the Flames in the 2nd period to the tune of 2 shots to 12. Both Arizona shots came in the final minutes of the period.
  • The Coyotes also managed to accumulate 10 minutes of penalty time in the 2nd period of play, stemming from 5 different penalties excluding Jamie McGinn’s fighting major.
  • Arizona had a 5 on 3 power play opportunity to tie up the game after Calgary’s 3rd goal but the Coyotes’ reluctance to shoot and some clutch saves by Brian Elliott killed the penalties.
  • The Coyotes will play the Flames once again in December, on the 31st in Calgary.
  • Elsewhere, Dylan Strome was named captain of Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championship.
  • Attendance: 12,192

Looking Ahead

Arizona remain home to face another Canadian team. Next up is the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM Arizona time.