Flames Burn Coyotes – Giordano Leads With 2 Points

CALGARY — Mark Giordano’s goal and assist paced the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 win over the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

Derek Ryan, Austin Czarnik and Michael Frolik also scored for the hosts with Mikael Backlund adding an empty-net goal in the matinee. Defenceman Rasmus Andersson contributed a pair of assists.

Calgary’s Mike Smith had 27 saves for the win against his former team and in his third consecutive start (2-0-1).

Calgary (36-16-7) improved to 3-3-2 since the all-star break and continues to duel with the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division.

Conor Garland and Jordan Weal countered for the Coyotes (26-28-5), who are chasing a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Backup Calvin Pickard stopped 29 of 33 shots in his third start for Arizona since the Coyotes claimed him off waivers Nov. 29 from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Frolik scored Calgary’s insurance goal at 5:48 of the third period off Arizona’s defensive-zone turnover.

Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund,
Calgary Flames’ Michael Frolik celebrates with Mikael Backlund (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Elias Lindholm skated the puck out from the boards and dished to the Czech, who chipped the puck by Pickard stick-side.

The Flames improved to 21-1-0 this season when leading after two periods.

After nine straight games as a healthy scratch, Czarnik scored his second goal in as many games at 16:18 of the second period.

Subbing in on Calgary’s third line a second straight game for the injured James Neal, Czarnik snared the puck on a broken play and scored from his knees with a low shot.

Weal’s first goal for the Coyotes came on the power play at 14:21.

Acquired from the Flyers in January, Weal took a cross-ice feed from Alex Galchenyuk and whipped a wrist shot past Smith’s shoulder.

Giordano put Calgary up 2-1 at 11:20. Instead of shooting from his preferred spot near the faceoff circle to the goalie’s right, Calgary’s captain went forehand to backhand to beat Pickard.

Garland beat Smith with a high backhand for Arizona’s first goal of the game at 6:27 of the second.

Ryan deflected a Giordano slapshot upstairs on Pickard at 1:34 of the opening period for the fourth-liner’s eighth point (two goals, four assists) this month.

The Coyotes play the second of back-to-back road games Tuesday in Edmonton before closing out a Western Canada swing Thursday in Vancouver.

Having played two of just four home games in February, the Flames host the New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Notes: Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie was scratched prior to the game and said to be “day-to-day” with an undisclosed injury, which promoted Andersson to Calgary’s top pairing alongside Giordano . . . Neal missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press