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Calgary at Phoenix

Coyotes extend resurgence with shootout victory; Flames' skid at nine

CBSSports.com wire reports

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes were relieved they could force the Calgary Flames' long skid to last at least one more game.

It wasn't easy.

The Coyotes failed to hold a two-goal lead against the desperate Flames, but Robert Lang and Lauri Korpikoski scored the only goals in the shootout to give them a 3-2 victory Thursday and send Calgary to its ninth consecutive loss.

The Coyotes climbed over Colorado and into fourth place in the Western Conference. They earned their 31st victory of the season in the 54th game, the fastest they have reached that total in the 30-year history of the franchise.

"They played last night and they are a desperate team but they climbed back into it," said Lang, 4 of 6 in shootouts this season. "We are ahead of the Detroits and the Calgarys and we have to keep getting all the points we can."

Keith Yandle and Shane Doan scored in regulation for the Coyotes. Mark Giordano and rookie Mikael Backlund had goals for the Flames, struggling through their longest losing streak since dropping 11 straight during December and January of the 1985-86 season.

"We got down 2-0 and we battled back to tie it up and got some quality scoring chances in the third," coach Brent Sutter said after the Blues' second shootout loss in two nights. "We just couldn't get that third goal, and when it goes to the shootout anything can happen."

Backlund and Olli Jokinen were stopped in the shootout by Ilya Bryzgalov, who earned a career-best 28th victory with 24 saves.

This one came with a cost as Coyotes leading goal scorer Scottie Upshall sustained an apparent right knee injury in the final minutes of regulation and had to be helped off the ice. Upshall, who has 18 goals -- eight in the past 15 games -- will be re-evaluated on Friday.

Yandle snapped a scoreless tie with a power-play goal 8:32 into the second period on a slap shot that trickled between Miikka Kiprusoff's pads. Yandle has three goals in two games. It was the 32nd goal scored by a Coyotes defenseman this season, the most in the NHL.

Doan made it 2-0 at 18:09, eluding former Coyotes forward Daymond Langkow and letting go a wrist shot that got past Kiprusoff. It was Doan's fourth goal in six games and his 11th point in that span.

The Flames got back within a goal 1:06 later when Giordano stickhandled around defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Zbynek Michalek before squeezing the puck under Bryzgalov.

Calgary dominated play early in the third and tied the game when the 20-year-old Backlund, playing in his third NHL game, used a screen to bank in the puck off the far post for his first goal.

"I was a lot more relaxed today after being so nervous [Wednesday] in Dallas," said Backlund, who planned to give the goal puck to his father. "We had to be desperate because we'd lost the last eight games, but I don't think we played as well before we got behind and really picked it up.

"If we play at that level for a whole game, this team will start winning games quickly."

The Flames thought they had another goal in the second period when Eric Nystrom tried to jam the puck through Bryzgalov, but video review was inconclusive as to whether the puck crossed the line.

"We thought we had a real good look at it from our angle, but they said there was too much equipment [on the video] to see it," Sutter said.


  • The Flames played without forwards Craig Conroy (knee), Nigel Dawes (leg) and David Moss (shoulder). Yandle has a career-high eight goals.
  • The Flames were in first place in the Northwest Division on Jan. 5 before a 1-9-2 skid.
  • The Coyotes are 20-8-2 at home after earning only 23 wins there last season. Phoenix is 24-2-2 this season when scoring first and 15-0-1 in the past 16 games it led 1-0.
  • Korpikoski has four goals in seven shootout attempts.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Ilya Bryzgalov denies Mikael Backlund in the shootout to earn his career-best 28th win. (AP)
Ilya Bryzgalov denies Mikael Backlund in the shootout to earn his career-best 28th win. (AP)
Calgary (26-20-8)01100 (0)2
Phoenix  (31-18-5) «02001 (2)3
Three Stars
I. Bryzgalov

Saves: 24
Save Pct.: .923
R. Lang

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
L. Korpikoski

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
08:32Power Play - Keith Yandle (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Prucha, Vrbata
18:09Shane Doan (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Upshall, Lombardi
19:03Mark Giordano (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Iginla
08:15Mikael Backlund (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bourque, Glencross
 Robert Lang (4), GOAL
 Lauri Korpikoski (4), GOAL
Penalty Summary
06:08Nystrom, 2 min, Roughing
06:08Yandle, 2 min, Roughing
08:19Lombardi, 2 min, Hooking
14:08Sarich, 4 min, Hooking
06:39Pardy, 2 min, Hooking
08:55Jokinen, 2 min, Interference
11:18Korpikoski, 2 min, Holding
14:05Regehr, 2 min, Hooking
11:03Pyatt, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
Miikka Kiprusoff 65:0029222
Ilya Bryzgalov 65:0024220
Game Information
Attendance - 12725
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Tim Nowak
Other Games
NYI 1 Final
Car 4
Chi 4 Final
SJ 3
Min 1 Final
Colo 0
Ott 4 Final
Pitt 1
StL 2 Final
Edm 1
LA 4 Final
Colu 1
Atl 4 Final
Phi 3