Published April 13, 2013
CALGARY, Alberta – Mark Giordano scored the winning goal 4:36 into overtime, and the Calgary Flames snapped a three-game home losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.
Curtis Glencross and Mikael Backlund combined to set up Giordano just inside the blue line. While goalie Mike Smith was screened, Giordano put a shot just inside the goal post. Smith just shrugged his shoulders as if he didn't see the puck.
Jiri Hudler and Lee Stempniak also scored for Calgary (15-21-4), which had lost six of seven.
In the overall NHL standings, Calgary pulled even with the Carolina Hurricanes, who are two points ahead of the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche — the teams tied for last in the league.
Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle scored for Phoenix (18-16-7), which earned three of six points on a three-game trip.
It was a costly loss for Phoenix, which is in a three-way tie just below the postseason cutoff in the Western Conference with Dallas and Columbus. The three teams trail eighth-place Detroit by two points. Phoenix and Columbus have seven games remaining. Dallas has eight games left.
Although Phoenix outshot Calgary 11-2 in the third period, the Coyotes hadn't had a dangerous scoring chance until Yandle took a diagonal pass from former Flames player Derek Morris. Yandle fired a one-timer from the faceoff circle that beat goalie Joey MacDonald over his glove to tie it 2-2.
Stempniak had put the Flames ahead 2-1 at 18:52 of the second period, scoring on a power play.
TJ Brodie's slap shot was partially stopped by Smith, but the puck trickled through. Stempniak raced to the net and poked the puck over the line for his first goal in 15 games..
Phoenix opened the scoring 1:29 in, before many in the announced sold-out crowd of 19,289 had settled into their seats. Vermette got to his own rebound and scored his 10th of the season from the top of the crease.
Calgary tied it 1-1 in the final minute of the first. From behind the net, Mikael Backlund centered the puck. It caromed off the skate of Hudler and got behind Smith.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Hudler, who was back in the lineup after missing two games because of an upper body injury.
Phoenix nearly took the lead in the second when Mikkel Boedker's slap shot off the wing was stopped. Alexandre Bolduc, who drove to the net, was robbed on the rebound as MacDonald scrambled across. Bolduc slammed his stick into the boards in disbelief.
MacDonald finished with 29 saves. Smith had 22 stops.
Smith made his fourth start in a row after returning from an upper body injury. He entered having stopped 93 of 95 shots in his previous three appearances.
Calgary lost veteran forward Alex Tanguay 6:42 into the second period when his knee buckled under him while he battled for the puck in the Coyotes' end. He was helped off the ice, and didn't put weight on his left leg.
NOTES: Before the game, Calgary signed of Ben Hanowski to a two-year, entry-level contract. Hanowski, 22, was acquired from Pittsburgh in the Jarome Iginla trade. His NCAA career just concluded when St. Cloud State lost Thursday in the semifinals of the Frozen Four. ... Dennis Wideman earned his 200th career assist on Stempniak's goal. ... Phoenix D Rostislav Klesla was a healthy scratch. ... Smith is two shutouts away from tying Bob Essensa and Sean Burke (15) for third on the Coyotes' franchise career shutouts list.