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Coyotes continue road trip against Flames

by Sean McCullen

COYOTES (16-7-4) at FLAMES (9-13-4)


Last 10: Phoenix 5-3-2 ; Calgary 3-5-2

Season series: This is the second of five games. Mike Ribeiro scored twice to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 home win against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 22.

Big story: Phoenix goalie Mike Smith bounced back from a run of bad games to get the win in the Coyotes' 6-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. He had allowed three or more goals in six straight games (22 total), the longest such streak of his career.

Smith stopped 31 of 33 shots, including 17 in the third period, against Edmonton.

The Coyotes came into the game looking to get back to their defense-first style.

"I guess we'll take the two goals against. That's what we're looking for, to tighten things up defensively," Ribeiro said. "We knew if we stayed patient in the third that they would probably try to open up, and that's what happened. We had our chances, were able to score, and we'll take those two points, especially on this road trip."

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix got goals from six different players against the Oilers on Tuesday, the first of a four-game road trip that includes three games in Western Canada and ends against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 10.

The Coyotes had lost four of five before flying to Canada for games against Edmonton, Calgary and the Vancouver Canucks.

"We're starting a tough trip," coach Dave Tippett said. "We wanted to come in and play well tonight. I thought for the most part, we did a lot of good things."

Flames: Defenseman Mark Giordano will return to the lineup after missing 18 games with a broken ankle. Calgary has gone 5-11-2 in the absence of its captain.

Giordano said he "felt real good" after participating in full-contact drills at practice Tuesday for the first time since he sustained a broken ankle Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Kings.

"It feels great," the Flames captain told reporters after testing the ankle in practice for a second straight day. "Our training staff, our medical staff, everyone, the docs, they did a great job in handling it. I really followed their lead and getting back on the ice the last week and up until today, it's pain free right now, which is obviously a positive, and I feel good."

Giordano was paired with Chris Butler at practice Tuesday.

The Flames have not played since Saturday, when they rallied for a 2-1 win against the Kings in L.A. It was the second time this season the Flames beat the Kings on a goal with less than a minute remaining in the third period. Mike Cammalleri was the hero this time.

Coach Bob Hartley announced Tuesday that Karri Ramo will start in goal against Phoenix.

Who's hot: Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker has five points (three goals) his past four games. He and Ribeiro each had a goal and two assists against Edmonton. … Flames right wing David Jones has four points (two goals) his past five games.

Injury report: Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) and wing Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) made the road trip, and are day-to-day. Michalek skated for 30 minutes and Korpikoski practiced Monday, according to … In addition to Giordano, forward TJ Galiardi (back spasms) is considered day-to-day. Defenseman Dennis Wideman (broken hand) and forwards Sean Monahan (broken foot) and Curtis Glencross (knee) are out.

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