Game Over: Flames Get Coyote Ugly Win, Beating Arizona 3-2.
The Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Monday, thanks to a couple of powerplay goals and a big night from Nazem Kadri.
Coyote Ugly. Perfect name for the Calgary Flames in their win over Arizona on Monday night.
It was far from a pretty win, but the home side got enough from their powerplay and their goaltender to build on their victory on Saturday night and string together a second straight for the first time since early in their six-game road trip.
How did they pull off their 3-2 win over the Coyotes?
One part Nazem Kadri. Another two parts Flames powerplay. Throw in a splash of timely saves from Dan Vladar and you’ve got your ugly victory cocktail.
Calgary Flames special teams were powered up
Head coach Darryl Sutter summed it up post-game.
“Special teams,” he said. “Difference in the game.”
Two powerplay goals on three opportunities. None against. Sounds about right.
Jonathan Huberdeau suggested the Flames were sharper. Elias Lindholm said they were more direct. The puck movement was quicker and created a couple of nice finishes from Lindholm and Nazem Kadri.
Dillon Dube’s even-strength goal gave the Flames the lead 14:13 into the first period. Lindholm’s powerplay marker made it a two-goal game less than three minutes later.
After the Coyotes chipped away to even things up in the third period, Kadri used the man-advantage to net the winner.
The game wasn’t pretty, but that winning play was, with Tyler Toffoli feeding Kadri with a perfect pass. It was barely on Toffoli’s stick from Huberdeau before he found Kadri on the other side.
Did Nazem Kadri celebrate hard? You’re damn right he did
Kadri hadn’t scored in eight games. And in that time, he’d managed just one assist. So did it feel like he was due?
“Sure did, that’s for sure,” said the Calgary Flames veteran, whose linemates have been producing but leaving him out of the scoring for most of the past eight contests. “Good to see it hit the back of the net.”
Kadri said there’s a great group of guys “picking him up” during his slump, but he looked like he could have lifted the entire team as he celebrated his ninth goal of the season.
Whether it was the timing of the goal, the fact it had been so long, or a bit of both didn’t matter. The result was huge for the team and the player.
“A little bit of everything. I’m a passionate player,” Kadri said post-game. “I want to go out there and give it everything I’ve got. There was some frustration coming in.”
The same could be said for the Flames powerplay, which has struggled more than most hoped this season. But it looked confident on Monday.
“I think we’ve just got to relax out there and make plays. We’re great players, we just have to help each other out,” Kadri said before talking about the setup he received for the winner.
“Incredible pass. Ty’s so good on that goal-line in front of the net. Great dish. I just tried to get it off my stick as quick as possible.”
Building some momentum with back-to-back wins
Aside from those powerplay markers and a couple of big saves from backup-turned-temporary-starter Dan Vladar, there wasn’t a lot to gush about. The Calgary Flames looked dominant at times but were far from consistent. Especially at even strength.
They allowed goals from defencemen Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakob Chychrun, which gave the Coyotes a tie game in the third period of a 13th straight road game.
“There’s not a lot to take away from this game,” Lindholm said. “Just the two points.”
It’s a modest streak of two straight wins, but it’s been a couple of weeks since that last happened.
The players have been talking about the importance of “stringing a few wins together” to get back on track for a playoff spot out of the Pacific Division.
“It’s huge. If we want to take the next step and get into the playoffs, we’ve got to put a couple together. Tonight wasn’t our best performance but we got the two points and we’ll be better in the next game.”
Huberdeau spoke from the same notes.
“We stuck with it,” he said after a two-assist performance. “Special teams was good and sometimes that’s how you’re going to win games.
“For sure it wasn’t pretty, but I think it was good for confidence.”