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Flames drop 4-1 decision to Coyotes

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Brad Richardson scored twice in the third period, and Louis Domingue made 24 saves to help the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Boyd Gordon and Antoine Vermette scored for the Coyotes (29-32-7), who end a two-game losing streak. Arizona, 2-8-1 in its past 11 games, trails the Colorado Avalanche by nine points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Mikael Backlund scored, and Joni Ortio made 22 saves for the Flames (28-35-5).

Vermette broke a 1-1 tie 3:15 into the third period on the power play, tapping a feed from Martin Hanzal by Ortio to finish a three-way passing play started by Shane Doan.

The goal came after Domingue stopped Michael Frolik's deke in tight with his pad a minute earlier. He also made consecutive saves midway through the third period on a shot by defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka from the high slot and Backlund's rebound attempt.

Richardson gave Arizona a 3-1 lead at 14:18. Ortio stopped Doan's initial shot on a 2-on-1 setup by Max Domi, but Richardson knocked in the rebound. He scored his second of the game and ninth of the season into an empty net with 1:41 remaining.

The game was the first for Calgary defenceman Dennis Wideman since Jan. 27. Wideman was suspended 20 games for conduct that violated Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials). Independent arbitrator James Oldham reduced the suspension to 10 games earlier Friday. Wideman had served 19 games of the suspension.

Backlund gave the Flames a 1-0 lead 21 seconds into the second period with a shorthanded goal. Frolik forced Coyotes defenceman Michael Stone into a turnover in the neutral zone before skating in on a 2-on-1 and finding Backlund for a tap-in. Backlund has 10 goals in his past 18 games after scoring five times through the first 50 games this season.

Gordon tied the game with another short-handed goal. He blocked a shot by defenceman Dougie Hamilton that created a 2-on-1 rush, then finished by knocking a pass from Jordan Martinook out of midair and behind Ortio at 15:01.

The Flames continue their six-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues on Monday. The Coyotes complete a four-game road trip at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

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