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‘Yotes Notes: Domingue Keys ‘Rock Solid’ Victory over Flames

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

Louis Domingue made 24 saves to key Arizona’s 4-1 win over Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.

“It was awesome,” Domingue said. “What a great effort from our team. I thought we played a super good game defensively. Every second opportunity they had around the net we cleared it. We were rock solid, all four lines.”

He added, “I feel good in net, way better than the other trip we had. My energy level is way higher and we're playing some strong games. It makes it easier on me."

With the win, Domingue lifted his record vs. Calgary this season to 3-0-0, and in those wins he stopped 75 of 78 shots. That’s an eye-popping .962 save percentage.

“Louis was excellent,” Tippett said. “(There were) a lot of pucks lying around the crease and he was excellent.”

Meanwhile, goalie Mike Smith, who hasn’t played since undergoing core muscle surgery in December, could return to the Coyotes net as soon as Saturday at Edmonton.

Smith is on the injured-reserve list but he has been practicing with teammates for weeks and appears ready to return.

“We're getting closer but he's got to be the one to say ‘OK, I'm in,’” Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Friday’s morning skate in Calgary. “That's where we are.”

Smith posted a 10-9-1 record, a 3.06 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 22 appearances before the surgery. He last played Dec. 8 vs. St. Louis and will enter his next start looking to snap a four-game losing streak.

• The Coyotes upped their record to 4-0-0 vs. Calgary this season, and snapped a 10-game road losing streak in one fell swoop. Arizona’s last win away from Glendale before Friday came on Jan. 25 at Minnesota.

• Center Boyd Gordon scored Arizona’s first goal on Friday night. The nifty short-handed marker at 15:01 of the second period was Gordon’s second in the past three games after he scored none in his first 48 games of the season. It wasn’t the game-winning goal, but it shifted momentum to the Coyotes after Calgary had taken a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal at 0:21 of the second period.

“That was definitely the play of the game from our side,” said forward Brad Richardson, who notched two of Arizona’s four goals.

Shane Doan assisted on Antoine Vermette’s power-play goal at 3:15 of the third period. It was Doan’s 40th point of the season; he now has 14 seasons with 40-plus points in his NHL career. He added a second assist on Richardson’s goal at 14:18 of the third period.

• The Coyotes played minus defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson for a second consecutive game on Friday. Ekman-Larsson, who leads the Coyotes with 49 points, joined his teammates for the morning skate but his upper-body injury still is troubling him.

“He's still a few days away from playing,” Tippett said.

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