CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Jordan Leopold found a way to jump-start the Calgary
Leopold had a goal and an assist Sunday night, leading the Flames to a 4-2
win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Flames scored three goals in the first 16 minutes, but the Coyotes cut
the deficit to one. Chuck Kobasew scored with 4:52 remaining to clinch the win
for Calgary, which had scored two goals or fewer in the past seven games.
Leopold alertly pinched in at the blue line and intercepted a Coyotes
clearing pass. His quick shot was tipped in front by Kobasew and past rookie
goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier.
``Honestly, that one I was a little bit nervous on,'' Leopold said. ``I got
a good bounce and ended up getting it at the net and Chuck got a stick on it.''
It was the fourth goal in nine games for Kobasew after he scored just twice
in the season's first 42 games.
``Three of our goals tonight were generated from defensemen just getting
pucks to the net and guys creating traffic,'' Kobasew said.
Robyn Regehr and Jarome Iginla also scored for Calgary, which moved into a
tie with Los Angeles for seventh in the Western Conference.
Jeff Taffe and Shane Doan scored for Phoenix, winless in five games. Interim
Coyotes coach Rick Bowness has lost three straight since taking over for the
fired Bob Francis last Tuesday.
``At least tonight when we fell behind, we battled back,'' Bowness said.
``What we're going to do as a team between now and the end of the season is put
more pride in our performance, more pride in our uniform and put a lot more
fight in our game.''
In the first two games under Bowness, Phoenix lost 4-3 to Pittsburgh and
then 7-2 at home against the Edmonton Oilers.
Calgary now faces a difficult four-game trip to St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas,
and Colorado. The game against the Blues on Tuesday is important as St. Louis
is in ninth place in the West, four points back of the Flames and Los Angeles.
``We're both in the same spot right now, fighting for a playoff spot, and
it's going to be another big game for us,'' Leopold said of the Blues.
Pelletier made 28 saves in his second start of the season and fifth of his
Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 19 saves to improve to 16-6-2.
Kiprusoff's best stop came midway through the third period when Fredrik
Sjostrom and Mike Sillinger broke in on a two-on-one. Sjostrom sent a pass
across to Sillinger for a one-timer but Kiprusoff made an acrobatic save.
Regehr got things started at 8:20 when he kept the puck in at the blue line
and whipped a high wrist shot toward the net that slipped past Pelletier.
The Flames increased their lead to 2-0 at 12:15 on a two-man advantage when
Leopold blasted a 50-foot slap shot through Pelletier's pads.
``We responded somewhat when were were down 3-0,'' Doan said. ``But what do
we expect, we're playing a good team fighting for their playoff lives and we
let them jump on us and get up 3-0 and we can't be happy with that.''
Calgary made it 3-1 when Craig Conroy threaded a pass across the crease that
Iginla stuffed in the near side for his 31st goal.
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard with 3:03 left in the first period,
connecting on the power-play to make it 3-1. Phoenix drew within a goal at
16:05 of the second, converting a two-man advantage when Doan blasted a rising
slap shot past Kiprusoff.