Flames fill net in victory

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Opportunistic is the only way to describe the Calgary Flames performance against the Phoenix Coyotes last night.

They weren't very good, although the offensive output would hint otherwise.

They weren't terrible, either, but despite a 7-5 victory over the Desert Dogs in front of an announced crowd of 16,981 at the Jobing.com Arena, there's certainly plenty of room for improvement.

They relied heavily on goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff once again, especially in the early going, to cap off a three-game road trip with five of a possible six points.

They also relied on plenty of Coyotes mistakes to take a 5-2 lead into the third period before things got really messy.

"It looked good for two periods. After that, it got pretty hairy," said Flames defenceman Cory Sarich, who had a goal and two assists.

"That's not the way I like to finish games."

Really getting started in the second period with a strong overall effort, the Flames forced turnovers.

"I thought we played really well in the neutral zone," said winger Todd Bertuzzi, who finished with four assists.

"I thought on turnovers, we were getting our feet moving and creating odd-man rushes that way."

Gobbling up an errant pass from defenceman Keith Yandle just inside the Coyotes blueline, centre Daymond Langkow slapped a long shot past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov 7:21 into the second period to make it 2-1 for the visiting Flames.

Bryzgalov was victimized a couple minutes later by unusual suspect Sarich, who wristed a 60-footer off the inside of the post and in as the Coyotes goaltender did his best impression of a baseball fielder losing a ball in the sun and fanned on his attempt to grab the high shot with his trapper.

Sarich sarcastically referred to his wobbler as a changeup.

"Not much to say. It was a real rocket from the point," he joked after scoring his second of the season.

"It's tough to handle the off-speed sometimes. When you don't have a good fastball, you just have to work with your junk."

After Daniel Winnik scored his second of the night to make it 3-2 during a scramble that showed the Flames still have some issues to work out defensively, Calgary regained the two-goal advantage on Matthew Lombardi's first of the night.

They made it 6-2 on Lombardi's second goal early in the third period before lapses allowed the Coyotes to score three of the final four goals.

"I didn't think mine was going to be insurance," said winger Eric Nystrom, who scored the Flames' seventh goal on his 26th birthday.

"Those are fun games, but I don't think the coaches like that. And you don't want to let a team back (in it). It's fun to have an offensive outbreak and have a lot of guys score some goals. At the same time, we kind of let them back in.

"We're happy with any type of road win right now, and we'll learn from it."

Coyotes captain Shane Doan scored his 22nd of the season, and rookie Viktor Tikhhonov added a pair over the final seven minutes as the Flames went back to looking sleepy in their own end.

"We weren't too happy near the end, letting those goals in," said Bertuzzi.

"We've got to be a little bit smarter when it comes to that situation.

"But it's still two points."


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