CALGARY – Finally, someone other than Jarome Iginla sparked the Calgary Flames.
Daymond Langkow opened the scoring and assisted on Nigel Dawes’ game-winner Wednesday night as the Calgary Flames beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1. With the game tied 1-1 in the third period, David Moss found Dawes with a pass from behind the Coyotes net. The Flames forward one-timed the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov at 14:16 for a lead that would hold up.
“It was a great pass. I didn’t even know if he saw me or not and he put it right on my stick and I just had to get it up over (Bryzgalov),” said Dawes.
Dawes’ fifth of the season was his first goal in 13 games.
“Obviously whenever you’re in a little bit of a slump, it’s nice to get that one,” Dawes said. “I haven’t been getting to the areas that I need to. I need to get in close to the net because that’s where I’m going to have my success and score the goals.”
Phoenix applied late pressure but were unable to beat Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.
In a dangerous rush late in the game, Kiprusoff first kicked out a pad to stop Peter Mueller then sprawled to deny Shane Doan on the rebound.
“We didn’t play remotely good enough in the second period and obviously, it’s starting to get a little monotonous that we can’t score goals and it starts with me,” said a frustrated Doan. “We’re getting chances, we’re getting opportunities. I get a chance with three minutes left to tie it up and I don’t capitalize on it and that’s the difference in the game.”
Kiprusoff finished with 27 stops to improve to 13-5-3.
In addition to his clutch saves late in the game, Kiprusoff was also sharp in the opening minutes, stopping Vernon Fiddler’s dangerous shot then thwarting Daniel Winnik on the rebound.
“He was good, that’s for sure. Especially on those rebounds,” said Winnik. “Those saves right at the start of the game changed the momentum.”
Kiprusoff made 11 saves in the first period to keep the game scoreless.
“Early in the game when they had two or three whacks at it right in front, making saves like that is huge for us,” said Langkow.
Bryzgalov finished up with 26 stops and saw his record fall to 12-8-1.
Keith Yandle scored for Phoenix (13-11-1). With the loss, the Coyotes dropped both ends of its two-game trip to Alberta. Phoenix fell 4-0 to Edmonton on Monday.
“That seems to have been our trend here for the last couple years,” said Winnik. “For whatever reason, we never play well in Edmonton and they’re always close games here that we always seem to lose with less than five minutes left.”
Calgary (14-6-3) was playing its only home game in a stretch of 10. The Flames had lost four of their previous five games at home and are just 7-5-0 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
“This was one right in between a couple road trips so it was a huge win coming home and not having that let down,” Dawes said. “Now we have the opportunity to go back on the road and continue the way that we’ve been playing on the road.”
The Flames head to Detroit and a Friday night clash with the Red Wings having earned points in 10 straight on the road (8-0-2).
After a lacklustre opening 30 minutes by both teams, Calgary started to pick up some momentum midway through the second.
In Calgary’s best scoring chance of the game up to that point, the red-hot Iginla set up Jamie Lundmark in the slot but his one-timer was turned aside by Bryzgalov.
Iginla entered the night on a five-game point streak and had scored 12 of Calgary’s 25 goals through its first 10 games of November.
The Flames kept up a steady forecheck and were rewarded at 17:20 of the second.
Deep in his own end, former Flames defenceman Jim Vandermeer had his clearing attempted knocked down by the Eric Nystrom. Curtis Glencross pounced on the loose puck and fed Langkow darting into the slot, who fired inside the post for his eighth of the season.
Yandle’s tying goal came on the power play at 10:30 of the third.
After Calgary defenceman Adam Pardy was unable to clear, Phoenix worked the puck over to Yandle, who beat a screened Kiprusoff with a blast into the top corner at 10:30 of the third.
Phoenix’s blue-line was bolstered by the return of Ed Jovanovski (lower body, eight games) and Zbynek Michalek (lower body, nine games). The two were paired together.
Notes: The five-game scoring streaks for Iginla (seven goals, one assist) and Olli Jokinen (one goal, six assists) both came to an end. … Not in the lineup was Calgary D Cory Sarich (undisclosed injury). Sarich’s absence opened up a spot for D Aaron Johnson, a healthy scratch for the past 12 games. … Calgary had six former Coyotes in its lineup. Phoenix had three former Flames – Matthew Lombardi, Adrian Aucoin and Vandermeer, all of whom were playing against their former team for the first time.