SUN Hockey Pool

Sauve thrown to Dogs

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Curtis Joseph reached a milestone but Philippe Sauve did most of the work last night.

The Calgary Flames' backup netminder was spectacular in his first start of the season, stopping 30 shots.

But he couldn't stop Mike Comrie from scoring his second of the night during a scramble in front of the net with 88 seconds left in regulation to give the Phoenix Coyotes a dramatic 3-2 win at Glendale Arena.

In making only 13 saves, Joseph became the ninth netminder to win 400 NHL games, thanks to the Coyotes' success on special teams.

"I didn't know that. Congratulations, that's all I can say," said Sauve of Joseph's accomplishment. "Obviously, I would have wanted him to wait a little bit more."

Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said Sauve deserved a better outcome.

"He gave us a chance," said Sutter.

"Obviously, he'd like to have the rebound back on the last goal. He'd probably like to have three or four rebounds back. That's the way it is."

Sauve's heroics weren't enough to keep a hungry pack of Coyotes from feasting on the Flames during a penalty-filled middle period.

After Jarome Iginla's powerplay goal gave the Flames a 1-0 lead, the Coyotes stormed back with a pair of their own.

Zbynek Michalek potted his first of the season by pouncing on a rebound after teammate Paul Mara was rejected by Sauve in style.

Sauve rolled on his back and kicked up his legs to stop Mara's shot -- a save that will see a lot of airtime on highlight packages north of the border this week.

Sauve, blistered by 29 shots over two periods, was equally good on the next Coyotes powerplay but again a rebound went straight to the opposition. Sauve turned away David Tanabe's blast before Comrie snapped the rebound home after the puck trickled past rookie rearguard Dion Phaneuf in front of the net.

"It felt like the whole (second) period was spent shorthanded," said Andrew Ference, who scored a powerplay goal of his own to tie the game 2-2 in the third period.

"We held it together but you're not playing in their zone, you're not getting your chances. That's not the way you're going to win too many hockey games."

The Flames were penalized

12 times in the game -- eight of them in the second period.

"It's not easy. It sucks to lose any game but you look at the second period -- some of the situations we put ourselves in with penalty killing and whatnot -- it's one of the reasons that contributed to the loss," Ference added.

Iginla scored his fourth of the season and extended his point-scoring streak to five games with a powerplay goal early in the second to put the Flames ahead 1-0. Iginla faked out Joseph and shot it past the veteran goaltender after taking Daymond Langkow's drop pass in stride.

Iginla nearly gave the Flames a lead with two minutes left in regulation but Joseph got a piece of his shot on a partial breakaway.

But the highlights were dominated by Sauve.

In the first period, he denied former Flame Oleg Saprykin, who took a few stabs at a loose puck by Sauve's pads before the netminder covered up.

Sauve also showed off his quick reflexes with kick saves on Coyotes captain Shane Doan and speedy winger Ladislav Nagy, who may have had the best chance to score in the first period. Flames defenceman Bryan Marchment fanned on his clearing attempt just inside the blueline, allowing Nagy to tee up from the high slot and force Sauve to get his left leg on the puck.

- - -

PHOENIX COYOTES: 3

CALGARY FLAMES: 2


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