Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) as Flames center Sam Bennett (93), Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) and defenseman Jason Demers (55) look on during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Jon Gillies makes 35 saves, Flames beat Coyotes 5-2

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jon Gillies rebounded from a first-minute goal to make 35 saves in his first NHL start of the season, helping the Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Thursday night.

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and two assists, Sean Monahan added a goal and an assist, and Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski and Matthew Tkachuk also scored. Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano each had two assists.

Coming off a 7-3 loss Wednesday night at Vegas with David Rittich in goal, the Flames snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 9-3-1 in their last 13 road games.

Derek Stepan and Kevin Connauton scored for Arizona. Off since beating Edmonton 1-0 in a Saturday matinee at Gila River Arena, the NHL-worst Coyotes had won four straight and were 5-0-1 in their last six.

Called up from Stockton of the AHL with former Coyotes goalie Mike Smith sidelined by a lower-body injury, Gillies made his third appearance of the season and fourth overall in the NHL. The 6-foot-6 former Providence College goalie started and won his NHL debut last April against Los Angeles.

He got off to a rough start as he lost sight of the puck in the slot when Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s wrist shot from the point fell at his feet. Stepan tucked it into the open left side 57 seconds into the game as Gillies turned the other way and looked behind him to see if it already was in the net.

Bennett and Gaudreau gave the Flames a 2-1 lead with goals 2:16 apart midway through the first period. Bennett deflected Gaudreau’s pass past goalie Antti Raanta, and Gaudreau came down the open left side and fired a wrist shot that squeezed under the goalie’s right leg pad for his 20th of the season.

Monahan made it 3-1 midway through the second with his team-leading 28th goal, deflecting Hamilton’s centring pass past Raanta. Jankowski scored a short-handed goal early in the third, and Tkachuk added his 24th of the season midway through the period. Connauton scored with 2:30 left.

Arizona’s Zac Rinaldo hammered Matt Stajan with a shoulder check early in the first, and the Flames’ Micheal Ferland retaliated by fighting Rinaldo the next time the Arizona forward hit the ice. Stajan returned to the game for his next shift.


Arizona signed Darcy Kuemper to a two-year contract extension, a day after acquiring the 27-year-old goalie from Los Angeles for speedy forward Tobias Rieder and goalie Scott Wedgewood. The 6-foot-5 Kuemper was 10-1-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average and three shutouts in 19 games for the Kings this season. He backed up Raanta against the Flames.

NOTES: Smith missed a chance to make his first start in Arizona since an off-season trade to the Flames. Smith spent the previous six seasons with the Coyotes. In Calgary on Nov. 30, he beat Arizona 3-0. He was injured Feb. 11 in the final seconds of a victory at the New York Islanders. … Max Domi played his 200th NHL game, all with Arizona. … The Coyotes have four games left on a seven-game homestand.


Flames: Host Colorado on Saturday.

Coyotes: Host Anaheim on Saturday night.

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