CALGARY (CP) - When the Calgary Flames acquired Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau from the Boston Bruins on Feb. 10, Primeau was certainly the lesser known player of the two.
However, the six-foot-three centre is quickly establishing a name for himself and Monday night against Phoenix, Primeau notched his first two goals as a Flame leading Calgary to a 5-2 win over the Coyotes. Primeau's first of the night at 5:27 put the Flames ahead 3-0. Jeremy Roenick was stripped of the puck behind the Phoenix net by Tony Amonte, who zipped a pass in front to Primeau, who niftily tucked the puck behind Mikael Tellqvist.
"It definitely felt nice," said Primeau, who had been blanked in his first seven games with Calgary and last 20 games overall before breaking out with two second-period goals.
"My linemates did all the work tonight. They were relentless on the forecheck and made those scoring chances happen."
David Moss, Kristian Huselius, and Andrei Zyuzin, with his first goal in 56 games, also scored for Calgary (33-21-9)
The victory moves the Flames into a tie with Minnesota for second place in the Northwest Division, two points back of the Vancouver Canucks. Calgary and Minnesota meet Wednesday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Yanic Perreault and Steven Reinprecht replied for Phoenix (26-33-3). Losers of seven of their last eight (1-6-1), the Coyotes head north for a date with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Primeau, who was brought to Calgary in exchange for Flames defenceman Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew, is starting to show why Calgary traded for him alongside the much more heralded Stuart.
"He's going to go out there, he's going to be a big body, and he's going to make things happen," said Amonte. "Especially when you come from another team, you want to get involved, you want to help your team out and show them you can play.
"You could see it on his face after he scored that first one. Just a little bit of relief, happiness, and joy."
Later in the second period Primeau put Calgary up 5-1 on his ninth of the season, again on a nice set up from Amonte.
The line of Primeau and Amonte centred by Matthew Lombardi was the Flames best line all evening, continuously controlling play in the Phoenix end and generating numerous scoring chances.
"We can't rely on Iggy's and Langkow's line every night," said Primeau. "We need contributions from all four lines if we want to be successful."
Trailing 3-0, Phoenix snapped out of a 0-for-22 drought on the power play on Perreault's goal. However, Zyuzin restored Calgary's three-goal cushion on his first goal since Feb. 10, 2006 when he was with Minnesota.
With Miikka Kiprusoff getting the night off for the Flames, McLennan made his sixth start of the season and was solid making 30 stops to improve to 3-3-1.
Exhibiting a lethal power play, Calgary jumped in front 2-0 on first-period power-play goals by Moss and Huselius.
"Going down 2-0 here, it makes it tough," said Phoenix captain Shane Doan. "It's tough to battle back. We got it back to 3-1 and we let them take two quick ones right after that, and that takes a lot of the emotion out of the game because it's pretty frustrating."
Calgary's finished the night 2-for-5 with the extra man. Ranked 24th in the NHL on the power-play on Feb. 2, Calgary has gone 21-for-67 in its past 13 games, a 31.3 efficiency that has moved Calgary all the way up to ninth spot entering play Monday night.
"We didn't have a very good effort," said Coyotes defenceman Nick Boynton. "We played really well in the first and probably deserved a better fate than being down 2-0, but then we gave them the game. I didn't think they played that well, and we didn't help our goalie out at all."
Notes: - Phoenix RW Georges Laraque was scratched for the second straight game amid speculation that he likely would be traded by Tuesday's trade deadline. Also not in the line-up for the Coyotes was RW Owen Nolan, another player rumoured to be on the trade block. ... Making his season debut for Phoenix was C Yanick Lehoux. Lehoux was recalled Saturday from San Antonio (AHL), where he led the team in scoring with 25 goals and 34 assists. ... With 20 career shutouts, Kiprusoff is one away from moving ahead of Dan Bouchard into top spot on the Flames all-time list.