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game recap

Smith makes 34 saves, Coyotes defeat Flyers

Philadelphia's Giroux, Arizona's Doan injured in third period

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith missed three months of the season because of injury, but he's been making up for lost time since his return.

Smith made 34 saves and came within 40 seconds of a shutout in Arizona's 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Smith is 4-1-0 with a .965 save percentage in five games since returning from an abdominal injury that required surgery, allowing six goals on 171 shots. He needed to be sharp in a physical game against the Flyers, who are fighting for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.

The Coyotes (34-34-7) have won six of their past eight games.

Video: PHI@ARI: Stone scores a buzzer beater in the 2nd

Smith, who was 0-6-1 in his previous seven starts against the Flyers, fed off the intensity from Philadelphia, which was buzzing around his net all night.

"It was a playoff mentality out there," Smith said. "They were fighting for their lives, and I think we want to play like we're in the playoffs. If we want to move forward, we have to match that intensity and work ethic.

"I love (contact from opponents). It's something where I've always found myself in the mix a little bit. It keeps you in the game."

Shane Doan and Michael Stone scored in the second period for Arizona, but neither finished a very physical game.

Video: PHI@ARI: Doan leaves after collision with Gudas

Doan was injured when Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas hit him into the boards in the third period. Doan staggered afterward, needed assistance to the bench, and went to the locker room shortly after leaving the ice with 13:53 remaining. Arizona coach Dave Tippett said Doan appeared to be fine after the game.

Stone got his left leg twisted up with Flyers forward Michael Raffl with 8:37 left and had to be helped from the ice. He was still being examined after the game and will be re-evaluated Sunday.

"On tape, it didn't look very good, but we'll see what it is," Tippett said.

Sean Couturier scored in the final minute for Philadelphia, which went 2-1-1 on its road trip.

Video: PHI@ARI: Doan puts home a rebound for a PPG

Philadelphia center Claude Giroux left the game with 2:15 remaining after he was hit into the boards from behind by Arizona's Martin Hanzal, who was assessed a five-minute major penalty for boarding.

Hanzal said he felt Gudas' hit on Doan "was a little dirty" and raised the level of physical play.

"When somebody goes after your captain, that's usually what happens," Hanzal said. "We made sure we finished strong because you want to stick up for your captain."

Giroux said he felt "pretty good" after the game and went through the concussion protocol.

"It happened pretty quick. I got tangled up. I didn't see the replay yet," Giroux said. "We played the right way. We had our chances. Their goalie was making pretty nice saves. We didn't get the result we wanted, but we can definitely look at this road trip being pretty good."

Video: PHI@ARI: Couturier pulls Flyers closer with a PPG

The Flyers (36-25-13), who lost in regulation for the third time in 15 games (10-3-3), are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They have played one fewer game.

Philadelphia and Arizona combined for 11 shots in a scoreless first period.

Smith stacked his pads for a save on Wayne Simmonds on a 2-on-1 early and later stopped a deflection by Sam Gagner. Mason's best save came in tight on Hanzal with two minutes left.

The Flyers dominated the first 14 minutes of the second period, outshooting the Coyotes 13-3, but the game turned when Philadelphia center Ryan White gave Arizona its second power play of the period when he was called for tripping at 15:04.

Alex Tanguay sprung Antoine Vermette into the Flyers zone with a lead pass. Mason stopped Vermette's shot with the blocker, but Doan beat Couturier to the rebound and scored his 26th goal at 15:37.

The Arizona power play was 1-for-21 before Doan's goal, and Philadelphia had killed 19 straight penalties.

Then, with Coyotes forward Max Domi and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning battling to the right of crease, Stone slid a shot past Mason from between the circles just before the period ended.

Video: PHI@ARI: Smith flashes the leather to deny Schenn

Stone's sixth goal survived two video reviews: The first showed the puck crossed the goal line with 0.5 seconds left, and the second denied Flyers coach Dave Hakstol's challenge that Domi interfered with Mason.

"I assumed there was contact the way that [Mason] reacted," Manning said. "[Domi] gave me a couple of cross-checks and I was just trying to tie him up. Next thing you know, the puck was in the back of the net.

"We held the play in the third period and even in the second. They get a power-play goal and then one in the last second, and those ones seem to hurt. We have to focus more on our starts and getting off better on the road, and that will take care of the rest of the game."

In the third period, Smith stopped Brayden Schenn on a redirection at 9:04 and again on a one-timer with 2:23 to go and the Flyers net empty.

After Hanzal's penalty, Couturier scored on a 6-on-4 power play to spoil Smith's shutout bid.

Video: Doan, Stone score for Coyotes in hard-fought 2-1 win

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