NHL

Flames hope to build winning streak as they host Coyotes

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The Sports Network
12/4/2013 11:11:08 AM
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The Calgary Flames hope to put together a winning streak as they host the Phoenix Coyotes at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

The Flames recently halted a two-game slide with Saturday's road victory over Los Angeles, giving Calgary its third win in six games after suffering through an 0-5-1 drought from Nov. 5-16.

Mike Cammalleri's backhander with 23 seconds left lifted the Flames to a 2-1 win over the Kings on Saturday. Cammalleri took a pass from Mikael Backlund in front of the net and managed to shovel a backhander past Ben Scrivens as he fell to the ice. Flames rookie goaltender Karri Ramo was able to hold strong the rest of the way to seal the win.

Blair Jones also scored and Ramo made 21 saves in the win, which came with many of the fathers of the Flames' players in attendance at the Staples Center.

"To get the win was special. We wanted to get a big one for them (the fathers) tonight, and against a good team," Cammalleri said.

Calgary will try to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday, but the club hasn't been able to string together consecutive victories since beating Montreal and New Jersey on Oct. 9 and 11, respectively. That two-game stretch still stands as the Flames' only winning streak of the season.

Mark Giordano will be back in the lineup. Giordano has missed the last 18 games since suffering a broken ankle on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles.

Despite playing in only eight games in 2013-14, Giordano still ranks third in scoring among Calgary defensemen this season with nine points on two goals and seven assists.

Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Flames are playing two straight and four of their next five games at home. Calgary is 4-5-3 at the Saddledome this season.

Phoenix recorded a 4-2 home win against the Flames on Oct. 22, but Calgary has claimed four of the past six encounters in this series overall and three straight at the Saddledome.

Phoenix began a four-game trip in impressive fashion on Tuesday, as the Coyotes slammed the Edmonton Oilers, 6-2, at Rexall Place. Mikkel Boedker and Mike Ribeiro each had one goal and two assists to help Phoenix match its highest goal output of the season. The Coyotes also scored six times in a 6-3 triumph over visiting Tampa Bay on Nov. 16, but then lost three of their next four games before Tuesday's rout in Edmonton.

Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan and David Moss each added one goal and an assist for the Coyotes and Keith Yandle also lit the lamp. Mike Smith stopped 31-of-33 shots in the victory after yielding four goals on 35 shots in Saturday's 5-2 home loss to Chicago.

"Obviously after the Chicago game, we wanted to make sure we came out and played more to our identity, especially on the road," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "We're starting a tough trip, we wanted to come in and play well tonight. I thought for the most part, we did a lot of good things."

Coyotes backup goaltender Thomas Greiss could give Smith a rest tonight by getting the start in the second game on back-to-back nights. Greiss has one career appearance against Calgary, as he took the loss for San Jose in a 4-1 setback on March 6 of last season.

Phoenix is 7-5-2 on the road this season and will try to win its third straight as the guest in tonight's clash at the Saddledome. The Coyotes will continue this swing with Friday's outing in Vancouver before completing the trip Tuesday in Colorado.

Calgary Flames celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Coyotes (36PTS) at Flames (22PTS) - 10PM
PHX is 1-0-0 vs CGY this season, winning at home
CGY was 2-0-0 at home vs PHX last season
CGY (9-13-4):
Last Game: Road W - 2GF - 20 shots for
scored 2G in each of their past 3 games (1-2-0)
1-5-2 past 8 home games, outscored 30-18, 3/20 on PP
Colborne and Stempniak both with 1G vs PHX this season
PHX (16-7-4):
Last Game: Road W - 6GF - 5/6 on PK
won 2 straight on the road, 3GA, 2/5 on PP
12-1-1 when they score first
Vrbata 3G, 4A during a 5 game PT streak
Ribeiro 2G vs CGY this season

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