Coyotes 2, Flames 1, OT

Shane Doan and the Phoenix Coyotes just want to keep their

momentum going. They’ll worry about the standings later.

Doan scored a power-play goal at 3:05 of overtime and Phoenix

beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 on Thursday night for its fourth

straight victory.

The win moved the Coyotes into the eighth and final playoff spot

in the Western Conference with 27 games left in the regular

season.

”This is how things will be and we need to find ways to get

points,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. ”This game wasn’t

pretty, but we’ll stick the two points in the bank and move

forward.”

Doan’s game-winner came 58 seconds after Calgary’s Mikael

Backlund was called for tripping. Passes from Ray Whitney and Radim

Vrbata set up Doan’s 16th goal of the season.

Flames defenseman Blair Jones was hit by a shot in front during

the overtime power play and rendered ineffective. With essentially

two Calgary defenders on the ice, Doan was set up by Vrbata at the

left faceoff circle and ripped a one-timer past goalie Leland

Irving.

”We’ve been scoring by committee lately, and it’s important

that everyone contributes,” Doan said. ”Vrbata gave me a real

soft pass and I let it go.”

Calgary scored the tying goal on Olli Jokinen’s tip-in just more

than 4 minutes into the third period.

Tyler Pyatt scored less than 8 minutes into the game to stake

Phoenix to an early lead. Mike Smith finished with 23 saves.

At the start, the Coyotes benefited from Irving’s long layoff.

Making his first appearance since Jan. 5 and first start since Dec.

30, the Flames’ goalie showed his rust.

With the game scoreless near the halfway mark of the opening

period, Irving faced a 2-on-1 Coyotes rush. Leaning back in the

crease, he allowed Pyatt’s wrist shot to trickle off his pads and

into the net.

Pyatt’s seventh of the season put Phoenix in front 7:43 into the

game.

”Yeah, I was a little rusty,” Irving said. ”They seem to

shoot from everywhere and it took a while for me to settle into the

game. I just wanted to give us a chance to win, and we did come

away with a point.”

Late in the first, Jarome Iginla came close to tying the game.

In alone on Smith, he held the puck just long enough for defenseman

Keith Yandle to force Iginla wide, and there was no shot on

net.

The Flames lost a key part of their offense when Alex Tanguay,

third on the team in scoring, left midway through the opening

period. His was struck on the cheek with a puck in front of the

Phoenix net and left the ice immediately.

That forced Calgary coach Brett Sutter to juggle his lineup.

Mike Cammalleri, acquired in a trade from Montreal on Jan. 12,

replaced Tanguay and joined a line with Iginla and Jokinen. Sutter

started the second period with Iginla between Jokinen and Tom

Kostopoulos. Eventually, Tanguay, wearing a full face mask,

rejoined the line with Iginla and Jokinen 5 minutes into the second

period.

After the game, Sutter said Tanguay had blurred vision and was

kept out during the final minutes of the third period and

overtime.

The near air-tight Phoenix defense limited the Flames to four

shots through 12 minutes of play and spent the night clearing pucks

and bodies from in front of the net. That enabled Smith to make

routine saves and keep Calgary off the scoreboard.

Before Jokinen’s tying goal, Smith’s biggest challenge came late

in the second period when he stopped Tanguay in front during a

Flames power play.

”There was a point here to be had, and we gave it away,”

Sutter said. ”We knew this game would be tough, and I’m proud the

way the guys battled back to tie it.”

With five points separating six teams for playoff positioning in

the Western Conference, Sutter put the stretch drive in

perspective.

”We just have to keep pushing,” he said. ”It’s all right

there for whoever wants it.”

Notes: Pyatt’s goal was his third in his last 27 games. …

Smith appeared in his 43rd game of the season, a career high. . The

Flames play five of their next seven at home.