Flames fizzle in the desert with loss to Coyotes
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Thomas Greiss stopped 27 shots, Lauri Korpikoski had a goal and two assists, and the Phoenix Coyotes rolled to a 6-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Coming off a disappointing loss to Philadelphia, Phoenix took control of what was a tight-checking game with three goals in the second period.
Unlike Saturday, when they blew a pair of two-goal leads, the Coyotes kept pushing behind Greiss’ second career shutout to win in regulation for the first time since beating the Islanders on Dec. 12.
Mikkel Boedker, Shane Doan, Martin Hanzal and Michael Stone each had a goal and an assist for Phoenix. Rob Klinkhammer also scored, and Mike Ribeiro and Radim Vrbata each had two assists.
Reto Berra allowed at least five goals for the third time this season, and the Flames were shut out for the fourth time in six games. Calgary has lost nine of 11.
The Coyotes had Greiss between the pipes after coach Dave Tippett decided to give starter Mike Smith the night off. Smith had been anxiously awaiting word on whether he would make the Canadian Olympic team. Tippett wanted his goalie to rest after such an emotional day, even after he made the team.
Though he won’t supplant Smith as the starter — Phoenix signed Smith to a six-year, $24 million contract last summer — Greiss has, in some ways, been more consistent this season.
In his first season with the Coyotes, Greiss entered Tuesday’s game 5-2-1 with a 2.12 goals-against average. He earned the victory on Dec. 31 against Edmonton by stopping 15 shots after Smith was pulled in the second period.
Greiss was solid early.
He had the highlight of the defensive-dominated opening period, making a spectacular glove save when Dennis Wideman was left open in front on a power play.
Two fortunate bounces put the Coyotes up 2-0 early in the second.
Doan was the recipient of the first, when Boedker sent a pass from behind the net that bounced off Berra’s shoulder, hit the Coyotes captain’s shoulder, and went in.
The Coyotes scored again 1:36 later when a shot by Korpikoski ricocheted sideways off Vrbata’s skate right to Hanzal, who one-timed a shot before Berra could slide over.
Boedker made it 3-0 later in the period, one-timing a pass from Ribeiro for his 13th goal and career-high 29th point of the season.
Korpikoski punched in his own rebound in the third period and set up Stone’s goal with a nice drop pass.
Greiss turned away a couple of tough shots on a power play in the second period, including a glove save on Mike Cammalleri, and wasn’t tested much after that.