(SportsNetwork.com) – The Calgary Flames hope to take advantage of an upcoming
five-game homestand that begins on Thursday night against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Flames return home following a 3-2-0 road trip, which ended with Monday’s
4-1 setback to the Carolina Hurricanes. While they have put together a solid
7-4-0 mark together on the road, the Flames are 2-2-2 at home.
“You’ve got to take advantage of the home games when you have them,” forward
Lance Bouma told Calgary’s website. “We’ve done a good job on the road so far.
We’ve just got to try to come in here (Thursday) and have a big game.”
Calgary was limited to just David Jones’ goal in Monday’s loss, with Jonas
Hiller making 27 saves. Defenseman Mark Giordano had an assist, giving him
four goals and eight helpers over a seven-game point streak.
“They got their first goal and it put us on our heels,” Calgary head coach Bob
Hartley said. “Tonight it just wasn’t there.”
Hartley will have the option of putting forward Sven Baertschi back into the
lineup after the 22-year-old missed Monday’s game due to illness.
The coach also plans on starting Hiller again tonight. Hiller is 20-6-3 with a
2.47 goals against average and .920 save percentage in his career versus the
Arizona tries to avoid a third straight defeat tonight after losing a 4-3
decision to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
The Coyotes were in position to win the game, tying things up on Mikkel
Boedker’s goal with 3:43 to go in regulation and then going on a power play
when Dallas’ Patrick Eaves was whistled for hi-sticking with 2:10 to go.
However, the Stars’ Ryan Garbutt was able to chip the puck out of his zone off
the boards and he caught up to the puck behind the defender before racing down
and snapping a shot past Mike Smith with 1:16 to play.
Connor Murphy and Joe Vitale also scored in the rough defeat for Arizona,
while Smith made 28 saves.
“We came out hard but you have to give them credit because they didn’t give
up,” said Vitale. “Things were really back and forth there in the third and
they got the last goal.”
The Coyotes will visit Vancouver on Friday so it is unknown if Smith or backup
Devan Dubnyk will start tonight’s game.
Smith is 6-4-1 with a 2.50 GAA and .903 save percentage versus the Flames,
while Dubnyk has put together a 6-4-3 mark, 2.38 GAA and .916 save percentage
The Coyotes won both of their home games versus the Flames last season, but
dropped all three trips to Calgary, where they have lost five in a row and
seven of their past 10 overall.