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Recap: Coyotes Start Trip with Loss at Flames

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

CALGARY -- The Coyotes hung with the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames for two periods on Monday afternoon at Scotiabank Saddledome, but they couldn't mount a comeback in the third period and lost 5-2.

Conor Garland and Jordan Weal scored goals in the second period for Arizona, which began a three-game road trip vs. western Canadian teams just three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Coyotes trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes, and 3-2 after two periods.

"It seemed like any time we got momentum they got a goal right back (after) a couple of miscues," Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "... We've got to make some plays. We need some guys to step up and score some goals ... It was only 3-2 at the start of the third. I mean, there's still plenty of time to get back in the game."

Video: Tocchet Explains What Went Wrong In Loss At Calgary

Arizona took 10 of its 29 shots on goal in the final period, but Flames goalie Mike Smith stopped them all. Meanwhile, Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund tallied goals for Calgary to produce the final score.

"It's a little tough to swallow because we were right there and they made the plays," Tocchet said. "They've got high-end guys that make plays, and we had a couple of chances and we didn't. When we don't score, we've got to make sure we defend well, and I didn't think we defended well in those crucial times." 

Calvin Pickard made 28 saves in his third start for Arizona. His bid for a shutout ended just 94 seconds into the game when Derek Ryan redirected a shot by Mark Giordano past him.

"(That's) not the ideal start when they score early on that tip, but I liked the pushback we had throughout the first (period)," Pickard said. "But you've got to give them credit. They earned some goals. They're really good offensively ... We had our hands full, but we held our own and we were right there at the end."

Video: Pickard Discusses Arizona's 5-2 Loss at Calgary

• Trailing 1-0, Garland scored the game's prettiest goal when he backhanded a shot over Smith's left shoulder at 6:27 of the second period. The goal was Garland's 12th of the season, and his 12th since Dec. 22. No other NHL rookie has scored as many goals as Garland during that stretch. 

Video: ARI@CGY: Garland beats Smith with nifty backhand

• Weal, playing in his 150th NHL game, pulled Arizona into a 2-2 tie when he scored a power-play goal from the right circle at 14:21 of the second period. The goal was Weal's first as a member of the Coyotes, ending a 15-game goal-scoring drought with his new team. He scored three goals for Philadelphia earlier this season before being traded to Arizona.

"It feels good," Weal said. "There's been a lot of chances, a lot of close calls around the net, so it's good to get that first one."

Oliver Ekman-Larsson left the game briefly early in the second period after falling awkwardly to the ice. He returned not long after heading to the dressing room, and finished the game with 21:06 of ice time, about two and a half minutes less than his average ice time.  

• The Coyotes played minus Richard Panik for a second straight game. Panik is sidelined because of illness.

• Stats that jump off the Event Summary: Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked five shots, and Weal won seven of 10 face-offs.

• Arizona will continue its trip with games at Edmonton on Tuesday night and at Vancouver on Thursday night. Goalie Darcy Kuemper is expected to start both of those games.

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