Flames catch fire in third period; smack Coyotes 4-1

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Calgary Flames’ goal differential in the third period of games this season was an unbelievable +22 coming into Thursday night’s game with the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes’ goal differential in the final period was at the other end of the spectrum at -27 prior to the puck dropping against Calgary.

Make that -30.

Flames Center Sean Monahan assisted on Calgary’s first two goals in the third period and added an empty netter late in the game, as the Flames turned a tight game into a laugher. The final score ended up 4-1 in the Flames favor.

Calgary has beaten Arizona in all four of their meetings this season. It was the Coyotes third straight loss and their fourth loss in a season-high six-game homestand.

There certainly wasn’t a lack of effort on Arizona’s part. They put 28 shots on Flames’ goalie Joni Ortio and put forth another solid effort until their third period collapse.

“We didn’t generate very much in the third [period],” head coach Dave Tippett said. “We had poor, poor coverage on their second goal. Poor rush coverage by a couple of forwards. The third goal was a seeing-eye goal that goes in.”

“With that being said, we didn’t generate enough in the third to give ourselves a chance to get back in it,” Tippett said. “[We] should’ve capitalized on a few more chances earlier.”

Left winger Mikkel Boedker continued to run with a hot stick. He tied the game up in the second period with his 14th goal of the season. Boedker extended his goal-scoring streak to a career high four games.

Boedker wasn’t in the mood to talk about himself or the hot streak he’s currently riding.

“It’s not worth talking about one person when you’re losing or when you’re winning,” Boedker said. “We are a team in here and everybody has to contribute. It just happens to fall on my stick right now and go in the back of the net. We are a team and it’s a team first mentality when [Dave] Tippett is behind the bench, so that’s the way we play here.”

Goalie Mike Smith played in two of the first three games against Calgary and gave up nine goals. He was in net for all but 20 seconds on Thursday night, primarily because the Coyotes dealt his backup, Devan Dubnyk, to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. Goalie Michael Lee was recalled from the Gwinnett Gladiators earlier on Thursday, but he wasn’t ready to be pushed into action that quickly.

Smith feels this eight-game road trip the team’s about to head out on – with the All-Star break sandwiched in it – couldn’t come at a better time.

“Yeah, absolutely, I think we’ve been home for a while now,” Smith said. “It’ll bring the group together more and hopefully we’ll get some wins from it.”

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