Flames upend Coyotes 4-1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie each had a goal and an assist to lead to Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.
Giordano's goal extended the Flames' lead to 3-1 at 11:46 of the second period.
On the power play, Giordano's shot from the blue line changed direction off the stick of Antoine Vermette and eluded goaltender Thomas Greiss.
Calgary has been without Giordano, its captain, since he broke his ankle Oct. 21 in a win in Los Angeles. At the time, the Flames were 4-2-2. While he was absent, the club struggled going just 5-11-2.
Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak also scored for Calgary. The Flames have won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 9 and 11 and won on home ice for just the second time in their past nine games (2-5-2).
Keith Yandle scored for Phoenix, which won 6-2 in Edmonton on Tuesday night. The Coyotes split the opening two games of their four-game road trip, which continues Friday night in Vancouver.
Trailing 1-0, the Flames tied it with eight seconds left in the first period when Brodie's shot deflected in off the leg of Phoenix defenseman David Schlemko.
The goal enabled Calgary to head to the dressing room even despite being outshot 11-3 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Flames played a better second period, taking the lead at 5:48 when Backlund ended an 18-game scoreless drought with a knuckler off a one-timer after being set up on a nifty cross-ice pass from Jiri Hudler.
Up 3-1 heading to the third period, Calgary made it 4-1 at 2:44 on their league-leading sixth short-handed goal.
Matt Stajan led a two-on-one rush and after showing patience, slid a pass across to Stempniak who scored his fifth goal of the season. It was the first goal in 10 games for the veteran since he returned from missing seven games with a broken foot.
Making his second consecutive start after stopping 21 of 22 shots to beat Los Angeles last weekend, Karri Ramo was excellent again finishing with 29 saves to improve to 4-4-1.
In the second period when Calgary took the lead, Ramo had a pair of solid glove saves - first denying Vermette, and in the final minute robbing Mikael Boedker.
With Mike Smith getting the night off, Greiss made his fourth start. He had 14 saves to fall to 3-2-0.
Notes: Phoenix fell to 12-2-1 when it scores first. ... The Flames won by more than one goal for just the second time. They entered the night 1-9-0 in games decided by two or more goals. ... Calgary was coming off its fifth break of three or more days. Excluding the Olympic break, they have just two more breaks of that length the rest of the season. ... Phoenix's Radim Vrbata had his five-game points streak ended. ... Sven Baertschi returned to the Flames' lineup after being scratched the previous game.