Resilient Flames battle Coyotes

( – The resilient Calgary Flames will wrap up a three-game
road trip on Saturday night aiming for a second straight win as they visit the
Arizona Coyotes.

The surprising Flames have won five of their last seven games, beginning their
trip with a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. But like Calgary has all
season along, the club rebounded to shut out the San Jose Sharks 2-0 the
following night, improving to 8-0-1 after a loss this season.

Karri Ramo made 32 saves for his third career shutout, while Jiri Hudler
scored both goals. His first came with 2:44 left in the second period on a
wrister in the slot and the forward capped the game with an empty-net tally
for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

“We were pretty focused the whole game,” said Ramo. “We didn’t make too many
mistakes. We knew that we had to bear down in our own zone and battle it out.
We didn’t panic and stayed in the game. I think both teams played pretty well
defensively. (Hudler) made a nice move and we got the win.”

Forward David Jones returned from a four-game absence on Wednesday night
caused by an upper-body injury. Corban Knight was assigned to the minors to
make room on the roster, but Knight returned to Calgary on Friday after
forward Devin Setoguchi cleared waivers and was assigned to the American
Hockey League.

Calgary kicks off a three-game homestand on Tuesday with a rematch with
Arizona, while the Coyotes will visit Edmonton the day before taking on the
Flames again.

Arizona hopes to rebound from a missed chance on Tuesday against the visiting
Colorado Avalanche. Michael Stone, Antoine Vermette and Tobias Rieder scored
first-period goals, but the Avs responded and ended up handing the Coyotes a
4-3 loss in overtime.

“We ended up playing too much in our zone. We gave up too many chances around
our net, and those pucks went in,” said Stone.

Mike Smith made 30 saves as the Coyotes fell to 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.

“They’re games that are winnable and we should be winning them,” said Coyotes
head coach Dave Tippett as his team dropped their fourth one-goal decision at
home in the month of November.

The Flames won the first of five meetings between these clubs on Nov. 13,
picking up a 5-3 victory at home. Paul Byron scored twice, Sven Baertschi had
two assists and Jonas Hiller made 20 saves for the victory.

Shane Doan and Vermette scored for the Coyotes, who saw Smith allow all five
goals on 25 shots.

The Flames have won seven of the last 11 meetings overall, but the Coyotes
have taken four straight and nine of the previous 10 as the host in this