ARIZONA COYOTES

Connauton scores again to lift Coyotes over Flames

Apr 3, 2018, 9:44 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2018, 10:21 am
Arizona Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta, from Finland, and teammate Kevin Connauton celebrate the Coyot...
Arizona Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta, from Finland, and teammate Kevin Connauton celebrate the Coyotes' 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Calgary, Alberta. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)

CALGARY, Alberta — Kevin Connauton believes he’s playing the best hockey of his career.

Connauton had a goal and an assist in continue his superb second half, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Connauton has 10 goals in 30 games since the All-Star break, tying him with Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman for most among defenseman since Jan. 28. The 28-year-old had just one goal in the first 42 games this year.

“I’m playing a lot more confident. Using my skating, using my shot,” the 28-year-old said. “Had a rough year last year with injuries and then sitting out. So the beginning of the year, I was still trying to get back to my game, but I think I’m back there now.”

Richard Panik, Christian Fischer and Dylan Strome also scored for Arizona, which has won three in a row.

Nick Shore got his first goal as a Flame. Injury-riddled Calgary has lost eight of nine.

“I don’t think the guys are not putting the effort in, it’s just not coming easy for us right now,” veteran forward Tanner Glass said.

Arizona struck first at 3:48 of the first period when Panik deflected Connauton’s point shot past rookie goaltender Jon Gillies.

Panik has also been on a tear with six goals in his last 10 games.

Connauton made it 2-0 at 16:39 on a nifty play at the blue line. After a fake shot that sent Curtis Lazar spinning to the ice, he wristed a shot inside the goal post on a screened Gillies.

Connauton is in the final season of his two-year deal and is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“I’ve had some ups and downs, but you grow from those things. When you get pushed back a little bit, it motivates you and you keep driving forward and I’m excited to see what happens this summer,” he said.

The teams exchanged goals early in the second period. Fischer was credited with a goal at 2:18 when a rebound off Gillies’ pad caromed in off the skate of rookie Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson.

Shore put Calgary on the scoreboard at 4:32, snapping Lazar’s rebound past Antti Raanta for his first goal since being acquired by the Flames in a trade with the Ottawa Senators.

It was the only puck to elude Raanta, who had 42 saves in picking up his sixth consecutive victory. He improves to 21-16-6 on the season.

Gillies had 17 stops and fell to 2-4-1.

Calgary’s power play woes continued. The Flames are 0 for 30 in the last 12 games and 1 for 48 over the last 17 games.

NOTES: Arizona D Jakob Chychrun (lower body) left the game late in the first period and did not return. … In a new-look first line for Calgary, Sam Bennett moved to center between Johnny Gaudreau and rookie Spencer Foo. … Arizona improves to 18-1-1 when giving up two or fewer goals.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: Play at Vancouver on Thursday night.

Flames: Play at Winnipeg on Thursday night.

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper celebrates after the Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay L...
Nikash Nath

Coyotes awarded 2024 3rd-round pick from Darcy Kuemper trade

Darcy Kuemper was traded to Colorado in July 2021 for a package including a conditional 2024 third-round draft pick that is now Arizona's.
2 days ago
Fans watch as the Arizona Coyotes warm up before the NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Gi...
Character Counts

Arizona Coyotes Foundation’s 2022-23 grant cycle to open July 1

The Arizona Coyotes Foundation announced that the 2022-23 grant cycle will open from July 1 and run through Aug. 1.
9 days ago
National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announces the Arizona Coyotes #3 overall draft...
Arizona Sports

Here’s where the Arizona Coyotes pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft

The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is set to be a big one for the Coyotes, having seven selections in the draft's top 45 picks.
1 day ago
Logan Cooley speaks at the Top Prospects Media Availability at the NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCe...
Sam Graveline

Coyotes nab F Logan Cooley in Bleacher Report’s latest NHL mock draft

Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson has the Coyotes taking American center Logan Cooley with the No. 3 overall pick in his latest mock draft.
11 days ago
President, CEO & Alternate Governor Xavier A. Gutierrez (Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty I...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes hope to agree with Tempe on arena plan by end of year

Arizona Coyotes CEO and president Xavier Gutierrez said an ideal timeline to get an agreement on a new arena would be by the end of 2022.
15 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@NHL_On_TNT)...
Jake Anderson

Paul Bissonnette gets new haircut after losing bet on Stanley Cup Playoffs

Former Coyotes player and current analyst Paul Bissonnette paid up after losing a Stanley Cup Playoffs bet with an interesting haircut.
22 days ago
Connauton scores again to lift Coyotes over Flames