By: Chad LynchPhoto Credit: AP Photo/Jeff McIntosh
On Wednesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped their second game of their road trip with a 5-2 decision in Calgary.
The Coyotes faced a uphill battle from their first shift as Steven Reinprecht was called for hooking, just 26 seconds into the game. The Flames went to work on the power play and sent a series of shots on to the Phoenix net, but goaltender Philippe Sauve did a good job of frustrating his former team by keeping the puck out of the net during the duration of the penalty.
Just four seconds after Reinprecht was allowed back on the ice, the Coyotes were whistled for a second penalty, sending Tyson Nash to the box for hooking. In almost a mirror of Calgary's first try on the man-advantage as Sauve was hammered with shots once again, but was able to get the better of the Flames offense by keeping the game scoreless through the penalty to Nash.
Phoenix was able to play a stretch of penalty-free hockey for nearly 12-minutes, but they simply couldn't get enough pressure on Calgary's netminder Miikka Kiprusoff and the period entered it's final five minutes, still without a goal.
The Coyotes would take a costly penalty at 16:04 of the period for tripping, which resulting in an aggressive Flames attack that ended when Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf blasted a slat shot just under the crossbar and past Sauve for a 1-0 Flames lead.
Just as Phaneuf's shot was heading into the net, Phoenix defenseman Paul Mara was called for cross-checking, giving the Flames a forth power play, after they just scored. Despite being down a skater, the Coyotes showed a little offensive spark while shorthanded when another former Flame Steven Reinprecht, beat Kiprusoff and rang off the goal post and away from the net.
Fortunately, the brilliant play of Sauve kept the puck out of the net for the remainder of the period as the Coyotes skated off the ice after 20-minutes of play trailing 1-0.
In the second period, the Flames were able to keep the offensive pressure on the Coyotes and it would put Phoenix into an unenviable position by the period's end.
At 7:16 of the second, Calgary added to their lead when sniper Jarome Iginla one-timed a shot past Sauve for a 2-0 lead. Iginla's goal came on the power play as Oleg Saprykin was in the box after catching Calgary's Dion Phaneuf with a high stick.
Four minutes later, the Flames made it 3-0 when Stephane Yelle tipped Phaneif's shot past Sauve in the slot to put Calgary up by two goals.
Two minutes after Yelle's goal, the Coyotes finally made a mark on the scoreboard as Shane Doan blasted a one-timer on a feed from defenseman Jamie Rivers, past Kiprusoff to bring the score to 3-1. Doan's goal was his 28th of the season, setting a new career best for the Phoenix captain.
It appeared that the period would end with Calgary leading by a pair of goals, by with 11-seconds remaining in the frame, Shean Donovan wound up and fired a shot past Sauve for a 4-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
The Coyotes went to work in the third period trying to kill off a penalty taken by Phoenix defenseman Jamie Rivers at the 12-second mark for hooking. This time, the Coyotes penalty-killing unit did a good job of keeping the Calgary attack contained to the perimeter and long shots. In doing so, Sauve was able to easily stop those shots that did reach the net before the penalty expired and Phoenix was able to return to full strength.
Phoenix took another cut into the Flames lead at 7:31 of the third as they converted on a two-man advantage with Geoff Sanderson one-timing a slap shot past Kiprusoff cutting the Calgary lead in half at 4-2.
However, after the goal by Sanderson, the Flames brought the offensive pressure back into the Coyotes end and on Sauve.
The intensified Calgary pressure would cut the Coyotes once again as former Coyote Daymond Langkow fed a pass to Kristen Huselius at 13:09 of the third, that was sent past Sauve for his 19th goal of the season, giving the Flames a 5-2 lead.
Sauve would make a final stop at the end of regulation on Huselius, but the damage had already been done and the Coyotes dropped the final game of their road trip, by the score of 5-2 in Calgary.