The Calgary Flames are desperately searching for traction in their game, and maybe a winning streak, too, while they’re at it.
Their performance in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals may be what the Flames are looking for to take flight as they prepare to play host to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
The Flames have won two of three outings, and the loss in that span was a dominating performance in terms of shots on goal. They won full marks for the victory over Washington, taking over the clash after an even first period.
“There’s ups and downs in a season, so just gotta keep playing the right way and playing as a five-man unit out there and goals are going to happen for us,” said forward Andrew Mangiapane, who scored twice against Washington.
“You’ve just got to keep working, keep putting in the work and keep building chemistry. We’ve got a lot of new guys and everything like that and keep building off previous games. It’s good that goals are going in for myself and the guys and just gotta keep it up.”
Along the way, the Flames are starting to find a more balanced attack. For example, Adam Ruzicka led the way against Washington with one goal and two assists during a strong game for Calgary’s third line. Ruzicka, a 2017 fourth-round draft choice, was a healthy scratch in 10 of the first 11 games, but since getting into the lineup has collected six goals and 13 points in 13 outings.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” he said. “You want to play, you want to be on the lineup every single night and you want to contribute, which is happening right now and I’m fortunate enough to be out there.”
The Coyotes arrive in the Stampede City looking to rebound from a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday in which they surrendered a 2-1 lead midway through the third period.
It’s the latest disappointment for a struggling team that is winless in four games and has a 1-5-3 mark in the past nine outings.
“We left a point on the table. Our game at five-on-five was pretty good, but too many penalties,” coach Andre Tourigny said. “It’s a team on the other side who feed off either turnovers or their power play, so we gave them a chance. If you give them eight power plays, a five-on-three, chances they will win are pretty high.”
The Canucks scored twice on the power play, including the game winner in the final minute of overtime. The Coyotes, who are among the league’s most penalized teams, have surrendered a power-play goal to the opposition in eight of nine games. They have allowed 12 goals against 47 short-handed situations in those nine outings.
“Just way too many penalties,” Jakob Chychrun said. “It seems to be a theme for us lately, so we have to just find a way to stay out of the box. You just shoot yourself in the foot when you do that, so got to be a little more disciplined.”
–Field Level Media