Calgary Flames control tempo, top Arizona Coyotes: By the Numbers
Nov 14, 2014, 5:31 AM | Updated: 6:21 am
After going 0-2 in their latest homestand, the Arizona Coyotes were looking to turn their fortunes around Thursday in Canada, taking on division rival Calgary Flames.
The Coyotes were better on offense than usual, but Calgary struck first and never let the visitors get out in front.
Arizona had the score knotted up on a couple of different occasions, but the Flames clearly were in control for most of the night, as they took a one-goal lead into the second intermission and tacked on another point in the third period.
Calgary held Arizona off by a final of 5-3, earning its 10th win of the season and 22nd point in the standings. The Coyotes dropped their third straight game and fell to 6-9-1, tied with Edmonton for the fewest points in the Western Conference (13). Coach Dave Tippett is still looking for his 200th win with the Coyotes.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s game at Scotiabank Saddledome by the numbers:
Center Joe Vitale successfully got the puck past Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller in the second period, which tied the game up with just about seven minutes left in the frame. The 29-year-old Vitale also found the net Tuesday against Dallas, meaning this is the first time in his five-year career that he has scored a goal in back-to-back games, and they are his only two goals of the season thus far.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ended a four-game points drought by earning an assist on Vitale’s second-period goal. The 23-year-old defenseman now has seven assists on the season to go along with two goals. His nine points are the the fifth-most on the team, just behind left wing Mikkel Boedker’s 10. (Boedker recorded an assist Thursday.)
Goaltender Mike Smith allowed all five of the Flames’ goals Thursday. It was the sixth time he has given up four or more goals this season, including the fourth time he’s surrendered five or more. The 32-year-old goalie’s record dropped to 4-9 on the year, as he stopped just 20 of Calgary’s 25 shots on goal — a save percentage of .800.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan put in the team’s first goal of the game — his fifth of the year — with a little over three minutes left in the first period, and he later recorded an assist on center Antoine Vermette’s power play goal. The veteran right wing is now tied with Yandle for second-most points on the team with 11, and he has the second-most goals on the club, behind Boedker’s six.
Vermette was already leading the Coyotes in points on the road this season, and he added his fourth overall goal Thursday along with his eighth assist. The 32-year-old Quebec native overtook Yandle for the most points on the team this year with 12.
The home team dominated Arizona in the takeaways category 19-10. The Coyotes had 10 giveaways to the Flames’ eight.
The Coyotes have struggled on the power play this year. In fact, they had failed to score a goal in 20 such opportunities in a row leading up into Thursday’s game. That futility mark ended against the Flames with Vermette’s second-period goal. Arizona was a perfect 1-for-1 with a man advantage on the night, while Calgary went 0-for-3.