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1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET21:00 GMT5:00 2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST1:00 UAE (+1)16:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 18, 2019
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta  Attendance: 18,985

Flames' Smith seeking rhythm in nets versus Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes at Calgary Flames

  1. Arizona shut out Toronto, 2-0, on Saturday after being shut out, 4-0, by St. Louis on Thursday. The Coyotes have allowed three or fewer goals in each of their last nine wins but have been held to fewer than three goals in 15 of their last 16 losses.
  2. The Flames beat the Penguins, 5-4, on Saturday despite allowing three power-play goals, their most allowed all season. The last time Calgary allowed three power-play goals and won in regulation was January 11, 2007 against Colorado (7-3 win despite three power-play goals allowed).
  3. Calgary has won both games against Arizona this season, 6-1 on November 25 and 7-1 on January 13. It is the third-largest goal differential (+11) by any team against any opponent this season (the Lightning and Maple Leafs are both +12 versus the Devils this season). The Flames have not outscored a team by at least five goals in three consecutive games in a season since they did so to the Rangers in 1975-76.
  4. Alex Galchenyuk opened the scoring with a goal in the second period on Saturday. He has four goals in four games after having only four in his previous 18 games. The Coyotes are 8-3-0 when Galchenyuk gets a goal this season.
  5. Derek Ryan matched a career high with three assists against Pittsburgh. It was just his fourth multi-point game this season, but Calgary is 4-0-0 in such games.
  6. Calgary has scored 85 goals in the third period this season, most in the NHL. Arizona has scored only 43 goals in the third period, second fewest in the league behind Anaheim (41).

Mike Smith hasn't started three consecutive games for the Calgary Flames since the opening month of the season.

His inconsistent play in net for much of the season, combined with the strong run David Rittich provided from mid-December through the end of January, left Smith more often than not riding the bench as the backup.

However, Smith is being given his chance to be the backbone of the club sitting atop the Western Conference standings. He's been tabbed to take the net against his old team Monday afternoon when the Flames play host to the Arizona Coyotes after backstopping Calgary to its 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon.

"It feels nice to play," the veteran netminder said after the Pittsburgh win. "It's been a while since I've had back-to-back games, so it's nice to get a rhythm going and feel good about where my game's at. It's nice to get rewarded for a lot of hard work that I've put in."

The Flames are kicking off a three-game homestead after a 1-1-2 road trip in which they hardly played well enough to win every game, but could have very easily won three of four with some puck luck.

"We didn't love our trip, to be honest with you, but we got points in three out of the four games and finish .500. Ended well with three out of the last possible four (points)," head coach Bill Peters said. "We'd like to get our game dialed up a little bit better and a little more consistent across the board, and that's what we'll strive towards coming to the finish line here."

Calgary has cobbled together a 2-3-2 record since the All-Star break, yet managed to keep a hold on top spot in the division.

"If someone were to ask you if you'd be happy with first place at this time of the year, I think you'd be pretty happy with that," Smith said. "Every team's going to go through a bit of a low, and I think it's important to get it back as quick as you can and play like we're capable of. (Saturday's win) was a good example of that."

Arizona arrives in Calgary on the heels of a 2-0 home win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Coyotes' third victory in four outings that has them in the thick of the wild card playoff spot hunt. It was a solid showing after a 4-0 thumping at the hands of the St. Louis Blues two nights earlier.

"I think it was a good turnaround game for us, a good response," said forward Josh Archibald. "We didn't play the way we wanted to (versus St. Louis) and I think we came out and had a really great start. That was something we wanted to do."

"We had a game plan, we talked about it (Friday), we talked a little bit about it today, and they executed it," Tocchet said after his team's win. "To play a Leaf team, as star-studded as they are, you have to execute a game plan and the players were diligent in the game plan. I've got to give them a lot of credit."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 17, 2019

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