The Calgary Flames ran into a desert drought in the form of Mike Smith.
Smith stopped 29 shots for his third shutout of the season while the Phoenix Coyotes used a three-goal third period to beat the Flames 4-0 at Jobing.com Arena on Monday night.
It didn’t take the Coyotes long to get Smith some support to work with in the first period.
Creeping into the slot, Phoenix defenceman Keith Yandle jumped on a loose puck centered by former Flames forward David Moss and beat Danny Taylor – making his first career NHL start – just 41 seconds in to make it 1-0.
That score held into the third period.
Thirty seconds into the final frame, Mikkel Boedker picked up the puck off the end boards and threw a backhand that hit the inside of Taylor’s right bad and bounced into the back of the net to give Phoenix a 2-0 edge.
Phoenix extended that lead to three courtesy of Antoine Vermette, who converted a crease scramble at 9:27. Raffi Torres, with his second of the season, iced the game for the Coyotes with a wrister from the side boards to make it 4-0.
It’s the first time this season the Flames have been shutout.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Making his first National Hockey League start, Taylor kicked out 33 shots in his debut and none better than in the third period when he stopped Steve Sullivan on the doorstep with the Flames down 2-0 midway through the third.
HIT OF THE GAME
Blake Comeau rode Rostislav Klesla hard into the end boards to the left of Smith, taking the Coyotes defenceman off his feet and forcing a turnover in the offensive end.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, Boedker’s backhand ricocheted off the inside of Taylor’s pad and into the back of the net just 30 seconds into the period to give the Coyotes a two-goal lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“It was not a team effort. We had some guys that took the option on this game and they just didn’t show up.”
- Coach Bob Hartley
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Tim Jackman made the most of his 10 minutes of action against the Coyotes, throwing a game-high eight hits. Jackman currently leads the team in hits this season with 40. Comeau is second on the club with 25 hits.
Blair Jones, Anton Babchuk and Derek Smith were healthy scratches for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff, Mikael Backlund, Sven Baertschi and Paul Byron remain sidelined due to injury.
The Flames return to Calgary for three consecutive games at Scotiabank Saddledome, welcoming Darryl Sutter and the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday (8 p.m. MT, TSN) and the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 p.m. MT, CBC) before a rematch with the Coyotes on Sunday (6 p.m. MT, SNET-W).