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game recap

Flames hang on for victory against Coyotes

Four-goal first period boosts Calgary to third win in four games

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames scored four goals in the first period and held on for a 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Michael Frolik had a goal and an assist, and Dennis Wideman, Lance Bouma, and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames (20-17-2), who have won three of their past four games. Brian Elliott made 27 saves to win his fourth straight start.

"It's definitely a better mood, for sure, if you can come with the win like that on the last day of the year," Frolik said. "We're happy that we finished it with the two (points), and hopefully we can start building new in 2017."


WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Flames highlights


Brendan Perlini and Martin Hanzal scored, and Louis Domingue made 20 saves for the Coyotes (11-21-5), who have lost seven games in a row.

"It's just getting to the point where it's embarrassing," Hanzal said. "It's on us. It's on the players. We've got to stick together and start playing desperate, because it's just not desperate enough.

Frolik ended a 20-game goal drought when he scored on the power play at 6:08 to put the Flames up 1-0.

"It's been awhile," Frolik said. "It's hockey. Sometimes it's like that. I know the start for me was good, and then I kind of couldn't get it in."

Video: ARI@CGY: Bouma's pass deflects in to finish nice rush

Wideman and Bouma beat Domingue on consecutive shots 29 seconds apart to give the Flames a 3-0 lead. Wideman made it 2-0 when he shot through a screen at 12:09 for his first goal in 27 games, and Bouma's centering pass deflected off Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski and in for a 3-0 Calgary lead at 12:38.

Backlund scored on the power play at 15:42 to extend the lead to 4-0 and push his goal streak to four games. He has five goals and three assists during that span.

"I dug the team into a hole in the first period," Domingue said. "I can take the blame because every time you give up four goals on nine shots, you've just got to look at yourself in the mirror. You can't point fingers. It's just bad on my part."

Perlini scored at 15:40 of the second period to make it 4-1, and Hanzal tipped a point shot by Jordan Martinook behind Elliott to cut Calgary's lead to 4-2 at 11:53 of the third.

"I think those first goals were huge, definitely, but I don't think we can be really happy with the performance after," Frolik said. "We said in the room we need to be better."

Video: ARI@CGY: Frolik slides home rebound for PPG


Goal of the game

Perlini redirected Shane Doan's cross-slot pass over Elliott's blocker to complete a three-way passing play started by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Video: ARI@CGY: Perlini finds the net off Doan's feed


Save of the game

Domingue made a pad save on Sean Monahan's one-timer at 11:45 of the second period after Johnny Gaudreau spun to set up Monahan with a drop pass. "We won the last two periods," Domingue said. "If we come out of that first period with better goaltending, we could have had a different game."


Unsung performance of the game

Perlini had four shots on goal, tied with Ekman-Larsson for the Coyotes lead, despite playing 13:33, 15th among Arizona's 18 skaters.


Highlight of the game

Elliott sprawled to make a toe save on Tobias Rieder's breakaway deke with 3:06 remaining in the second period and Calgary up 4-1. The save came 1:14 after Perlini's goal. "It was a big save for us," Backlund said. "He played really well for us tonight. At times, he stood on his head and saved us at times. I don't think we were the better team the whole game. He came up big for us."

Video: ARI@CGY: Elliott robs Rieder's break with skate save


They said it

"Our second period was awful. It was a really bad period for us. That was unacceptable. I thought in the third we came up a little better and spent more time in their zone and had a little more pressure. Not our best game, but we'll take the two points and move on." -- Flames forward Mikael Backlund


"Three offensive-zone penalties and four goals on six shots, pretty much that was the game. Crazy how it goes, we actually had some chances early on. When that happens in a game, you're chasing it, and it's a long way back." -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett


Video: ARI@CGY: Wideman nets a slapper from the blue line


Need to know

Rookie forward Matthew Tkachuk got an assist on Frolik's goal to extend his point streak to six games (one goal, six assists). … Elliott hadn't won since Oct. 28 before his four-game winning streak started on Dec. 19 at Arizona. … It was Domingue's first start since Dec. 5. Mike Smith had started the previous 12 games for the Coyotes.


What's next

Coyotes: At the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; SNW, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Four-goal 1st period propels Flames to 4-2 win

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