Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a hockey game. So, we will give you ‘Yotes Notes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Coyotes’ 5-4 loss to the Flames on February 24.
On two separate occasions Sunday night, the Phoenix Coyotes battled back from one-goal deficits.
Down 1-0 the second period, the Coyotes received a bit of luck when Calgary’s Matt Stajan was whistled for a bizarre inference penalty after he made contact with a Phoenix skater while trying to get out of the penalty box.
On the ensuing faceoff, Michael Stone fired a shot that somehow got redirected off of Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s right skate and into the back of the net.
Heading into the third period the Coyotes again found themselves trailing (3-2), but Raffi Torres began the final frame in attack mode. At the 2:20 mark of the period, the second-year Coyote came into the offensive zone and delivered a beautiful behind-the-back pass to Zbynek Michalek. Moments later Michalek returned the favor and sent a laser onto Torres’ stick, and he promptly put the puck past Joey MacDonald for his second tally of the night.
Nick Johnson would add the go-ahead goal on a rebound with a little over 11 minutes to go, but it was all for naught inside the Saddledome.
The Coyotes have blown several notable leads (at San Jose and Edmonton just to name a few), but Sunday’s defeat was especially tough.
Dave Tippett’s squad did a horrific job of closing the second period, giving up two goals in the final 3:34.
And lightning struck twice for Phoenix, unfortunately, as the Flames pulled the trick again in the waning moments of the contest.
Captain Jarome Iginla notched his second goal of the night on pass that went across the crease and goaltender Mike Smith. 23 second later, Curtis Glencross put the finishing touches on the comeback with a shot from the slot that Smith never even had a chance of stopping.
The loss marked the second consecutive game in which the Coyotes blew a lead in the third period.
He Said It:
“You’ve got to be able to close out games if you want to be a good team, and right now we’re not doing that.” – head coach Dave Tippett following the 5-4 loss
• The Coyotes entered the night 9-4 against the Flames dating back to 2008-09.
• Forwards Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal and defenseman Derek Morris all sat out for the second consecutive contest following the team’s five-day layoff. Vrbata hasn’t played since February 16.
• After missing 12 straight games, Matthew Lombardi has come back with a bang. The veteran forward has now recorded points in back-to-back games since his return.
The Coyotes will take on the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. MST.