The Phoenix Coyotes gave their goalie Mike Smith all the offensive support he would need within the first 41-seconds of the opening period. The Coyotes scored very early, stalled in the middle and then blasted three-goals in the third for a 4-0 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames.
Smith stopped 26-shots and notched his third shutout of the season. In his last eight games he is 6-2 with a 1.88 goals against average.
“No shutout's easy,” Smith said. “Obviously it depends on what's going on in the front of the net. The team deserved to not let one get in tonight. We played that well where we didn't give them much.”
Smith's night in the cage was made a lot easier by another Coyotes offensive outburst. Keith Yandle started the Coyotes night properly by scoring within 41-seconds of the opening whistle. Phoenix put the game away with three more goals in the third period.
Mikkel Boedker scored within 30-seconds of the start of the third, on a backhand that was assisted by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Antoine Vermette.
Approximately nine minutes later Vermette put a wrister past recent Calgary call up, goalie Danny Taylor. With less than four minutes left in the contest Raffi Torres made it 4-0 on his second goal of the season. The Coyotes have scored nine-goals in their last two games, which is a far cry from their usual defensive minded play and a conservative offense that scores an average of 2.60 goals a game.
“Tonight was a great win for our team,” Smith said. “A great confidence builder. We played 60 minutes and we've lacked that this year. We've played well in parts of games. Games we've won we weren't happy with how we started or finished.”
The Coyotes are riding a surge of great hockey that has lead to six wins in their last eight games. They will get some rest before heading to Edmonton to take on the Oilers on Saturday, February 23. The puck is scheduled to drop at 1:30 p.m. (MT)