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Phoenix
Coyotes
31-46-5
Calgary
Flames
43-29-10

27 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PHX
CGY
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Coyotes-Flames Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Coyotes-Flames Preview
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames have gotten off to a slow start, but there's no need to panic yet - they've been through this before.

The Flames look to avoid their first four-game losing streak in nearly four years when they host the slumping Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.

A struggling offense and poor special teams play has Calgary 2-4-1 through the first three weeks of the season. However, the Flames had the exact same record last season before rebounding to win their first division title since 1994-95.

The defending Northwest Division champions currently sit in last place and have scored just 15 goals this season - tied with Boston and Philadelphia for the fewest in the NHL. Calgary gave up two goals in the first nine minutes Thursday and never recovered, losing 3-2 to the Bruins.

The Flames are now on the verge of their first four-game losing streak since Jan. 9-14, 2003.

"The way we started the game put us in a big hole," Flames coach Jim Playfair said. "It's about preparation and it has got to improve."

One area where Calgary most needs to improve is on the power play. The Flames have converted only three of 44 (6.8 percent) opportunities with the man advantage this season, including going 0-for-3 Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Flames' penalty-killing unit has stopped just 33 of 43 opponent chances and allowed an extra-man goal in six of seven games this season.

Miikka Kiprusoff has given up three or more goals in the Flames' five losses and posted an overall 3.01 goals-against average in seven starts. He has fared well against Phoenix in the past, however, going 4-2-0 with a 1.78 GAA in six career games.

Phoenix (2-7-0) has had similar struggles on special teams, scoring on only 10.7 percent (6-for-56) of its power plays and stopping only 77.5 percent (55-for-71) of opponent advantages.

Those numbers have contributed to the Coyotes' worst start since moving from Winnipeg in 1996. Phoenix scored for the first time in three games Monday, but suffered its third straight defeat, losing 5-2 to Dallas.

Phoenix has allowed a league-high 38 goals this season, while committing 89 penalties - the most in the NHL - in only nine games.

"We need to ... win, however we do it," Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick said. "We're the most undisciplined team in the league and it has to stop. It's embarrassing.

"We're killing our goaltenders with barrages of shots because we are killing penalties all ... night. We keep doing the same thing."

Roenick's second-period goal broke a streak of 147 minutes and 50 seconds without a score for the Coyotes and Mike Comrie scored his team-leading third goal two minutes later.

The teams split four meetings last season, but the Flames have won four of the last five matchups in Calgary.

Calgary will be without Stephane Yelle, who broke his ankle and sprained ankle ligaments in Thursday's loss. Calgary doesn't have a timetable for the veteran center's return.

"It's going to take a while and it all depends on how bad the sprain was," said Yelle, who has a goal and two assists this season. "I think the sprain is more serious than the actual break. We'll give it time and see how it goes."

This contest opens a three-game homestand for the Flames, who went 1-2-1 on their four-game road trip.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 26 '07PHX 2 at CGY 5W. Primeau
Feb 22 '07CGY 2 at PHX 3 - OTS. Doan
Dec 16 '06CGY 6 at PHX 3J. Iginla
Oct 24 '06PHX 1 at CGY 6K. Huselius
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%