Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith

Flames take down Coyotes to keep place in playoff race

Sean Monahan seems to know exactly what to do when the game is on the line. Monahan scored his eighth game-winning goal Tuesday as the Calgary Flames picked up two important points with a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. They also climbed to within one win of clinching a playoff spot.

CALGARY — Sean Monahan seems to know exactly what to do when the game is on the line.

Monahan scored his eighth game-winning goal Tuesday as the Calgary Flames picked up two important points with a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. They also climbed to within one win of clinching a playoff spot.

Getting the puck at his own blue-line, Monahan carried it up the ice into the Coyotes zone and after hitting the brakes sharply in the slot, the 20-year-old whipped a shot past Mike Smith for his 31st goal of the season.

“I got a chance to go there and Johnny (Gaudreau) drove the net hard to create room and I tried to do whatever I could to get a shot,” said Monahan. “Fortunately enough, I put it in.”

Monahan is tied for third in the NHL in game-winners this season, behind Alex Ovechkin (11) and Max Pacioretty (10).

“He has such a good feel for the game,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. “Whether it’s offensively or defensively, he’s always on the job. He showed great patience. He let the d-man go down and walked right in.”

The goal came less than two minutes after Arizona capitalized on a mistake by Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller to tie it. Out of his net to play the puck near the corner, Hiller lost it to Kyle Chipchura, who set up Craig Cunningham for an empty net.

“Those things happen but in the end, you stick together as a team,” Hiller said. “There’s always somebody on this team to find a way to bail the other guys out.”

The Flames can clinch their first trip to the post-season in six years on Thursday night when they play Los Angeles. Calgary would eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions with a regulation time win. With two games left for each team, the Flames are two points up on the Kings and own the tie-breaker.

“We all know what’s at stake,” Hartley said. “There’s a great team coming in, Stanley Cup champs in our building.

“We’re going to go out there, we’re going to play our own game and we’re on a mission. We know what we need to do.”

Thanks to the Kings loss in Edmonton on Tuesday, Calgary has two chances to get one win. They finish the season in Winnipeg.

“Those are going to be two of the hardest points for us to get on the season and we know that,” said veteran Flames centre Matt Stajan. “We have to get ourselves ready. That’s a Game 7 for us on Thursday and hopefully we can seal the deal here on home ice.”

David Jones and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary (44-29-7), which swept the five-game season series by a combined score of 20-8.

B.J. Crombeen scored the other goal for the Coyotes (24-48-8).

Despite an 18-7 edge in shots in the first period, Calgary emerged with only a 1-0 lead. The Coyotes played a better second period and eventually tied it when Crombeen scored at 17:09 on a shot that deflected off Dennis Wideman’s jersey and fluttered past Hiller.

The weird goal was only Crombeen’s third of the season in 56 games.

“To have a start like that, we put ourselves in a bad position,” said ex-Flames forward David Moss. “We did some better things in the second and third but we gave them a couple too many chances.”

Calgary regained the lead 1:13 into the third when Jones went hard to the net and hammered in a rebound of a Michael Ferland shot.

The Flames lost Lance Bouma (upper body) late in the second period after he appeared to get shaken up blocking a rising slapshot from Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Arizona captain Shane Doan (lower body) also did not play in the third period.

Just Posted

Alberta RCMP need public’s help to identify remains of three dead people

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying three individuals whose remains… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, firearms, vehicles in major drug bust

Six people are facing 39 criminal charges, say Red Deer RCMP. The… Continue reading

Businesses, volunteers help central Alberta woman be warm this winter

A central Alberta woman in need of some warmth found it in… Continue reading

Red Deer’s downtown is about to get rebranded with a new identity

The DBA is hoping to have campaign ready for next summer

Suspect in machete attack makes court appearance in wheelchair

Quentin Lee Strawberry charged with attempted murder in connection with Dec. 2 incident

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Don’t be fooled, Alberta suffers from a revenue problem

The Royal Bank of Canada’s provincial fiscal tables, published Nov. 27, show… Continue reading

Flawed comparisons guised as fact regarding pension plan

Re: “Facts should guide decision on Canada Pension Plan,” Letter, Dec. 3.… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: Overseeing unruly constables was a tough job for Red Deer’s police chief

There has been considerable discussion recently whether Red Deer should create a… Continue reading

Olivia Smith, Jayden Nelson named Canada Soccer’s Youth Players of the Year

TORONTO — Teenagers Olivia Smith and Jayden Nelson have been named Canada… Continue reading

Leonard leaves lasting imprint on Raptors fans in form of permanent tattoos

TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard left a lasting imprint on Toronto Raptors fans… Continue reading

‘Antigone’ among features on TIFF’s annual top 10 list of Canadian films

TORONTO — The organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival has released… Continue reading

‘It’s also kind of a scary time’: Canadian creators on the streaming era

TORONTO — Brent Butt is trepidatious about the streaming era. While the… Continue reading

Most Read