Defence rules at Dome

Flames' Brandon Prust dropped the gloves with Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette early in last night's tilt...

Flames' Brandon Prust dropped the gloves with Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette early in last night's tilt at the Dome. (Sun Media/Stuart Dryden)

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

Nobody could expect to see another touchdown put on the scoreboard at the Saddledome.

Not even during Grey Cup week.

In fact, you knew the Flames wouldn't allow that to happen in their first home date since last week's 7-1 thrashing at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The age-old adage defence wins championships will be tossed around Calgary ad nauseum until the CFL crown is decided Sunday, but that belief was front and centre in the Flames 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes last night.

"We have a lot of road games coming up, but had this one pencilled in as a big game to win," left winger Eric Nystrom said.

"We played really well. The only chance they had was on the powerplay, so we're happy with the way we played. That was a good showing for us."

The Flames entered the night having lost four of five at home, so they needed something to start changing that trend.

A solid -- albeit unspectacular -- performance with the actual Grey Cup trophy in the house did the trick.

"Before you go on a long road trip, you want to start off on a good foot. We played pretty well," right winger David Moss said.

"It's a step. We played well for the most part of the game, and that's what we need to do at home, shut other teams down."

You need offence, too, and a pair of former Coyotes came through for the Flames, who improved their record to 14-6-3.

Daymond Langkow scored once and added an assist, while Nigel Dawes potted the winner with less than six minutes remaining to the delight of the 19,289 on hand.

Dawes denied the goal meant anything extra to him, even though it came at the expense of his former team, a club that allowed him to go to the Flames through waivers this past summer.

"When you're playing a game, it doesn't matter who you're playing. I haven't scored in awhile, so it was nice to get one," said Dawes, who potted his fifth goal of the season. "When you get opportunities like that, you have to make the most of them."

The Flames not only found the right side of the scoreboard at home, but they also are now just one point back of the Northwest Division leading Colorado Avalanche and have two games in hand.

Expect to see more tight-checking hockey as they try to rein in the Avs.

But they said thoughts of last week's one-sided defeat to the Blackhawks weren't needed to reinforce those feelings.

"We didn't even talk about it. That's in the past now. We addressed it the day after an then it was forgotten about," Dawes said.

Keith Yandle replied for the Coyotes.

Of course, a game that low-scoring requires great goaltending, and both Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff and his counterpart Ilya Bryzgalov were on their games.

Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots, including a quick flurry in the opening minutes -- in which he denied Vernon Fiddler, Daniel Winnik and Paul Bissonnette in succession -- and late in the game when he stopped shots by Peter Mueller and Shane Doan.

Bryzgalov made 24 saves for the Coyotes (13-11-1).

"We were kinda feeling each other out because it's the first time we played each other this year," Langkow said.

"They battled hard, we battled hard and fortunately we came out on top."

Calgary hits the road for a six-game road trip that begins tomorrow night in Detroit.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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