Phaneuf powers way to victory

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the Phoenix Coyotes pushing to make a game of it, Dion Phaneuf shoved them out.

The Calgary Flames defenceman frustrated the Yotes with hard hits and an agitating hack, then added insult to injury with a powerplay goal that swayed the momentum heavily back in the visitors' favour in a 4-1 victory last night at Jobing.com Arena.

Enjoying a powerplay with Daniel Carcillo in the box for boarding Dustin Boyd, Phaneuf rifled the puck at Mikael Tellqvist, who just got his blocker on the rubber.

It flipped high in the air and arced its way toward the open cage, but bounced off the crossbar. Not known to take no for an answer, Phaneuf bulled his way into the crease and backhanded his own rebound over Tellqvist to give the Flames a backbreaking 3-1 lead 6:31 into the second period.

Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky knew the game wouldn't be easy.

He said in the morning he expected the Flames to come out strong.

They did just that.

And wouldn't you know it, captain Jarome Iginla -- who seems to love playing in the desert -- had a hand in his team's first goal.

Playing a little give and go in tight on the powerplay with Todd Bertuzzi, Iginla got the puck to the big winger, who in turn shipped it across the crease to Michael Cammalleri.

Cammalleri centered it back to Bertuzzi and it banked off his skate and then off Coyotes defenceman Zbynek Michalek's stick and past netminder Mikael Tellqvist.

Brandon Prust gave the Flames a two-goal lead with his first NHL goal.

Scooping up the puck at his own blueline when defenceman and former Flame Derek Morris fell while winding up for a slapshot, Wayne Primeau raced down the ice on a two-on-one with Prust.

Taking the cross-ice pass from Primeau, Prust delayed his shot for a split second as Tellqvist slid across the paint and wristed it inside the post on the far side.

How would the young Coyotes respond?

"It's a good test for us," said Gretzky earlier in the day.

"Probably the most determined group of players that you're going to go against. They come hard at you. They're physical. They finish checks. They work off each other's energy.

"This'll be a new challenge for some of our guys. They haven't seen this pace -- it's going to go up a notch today as far as the physical play and the physical presence."

They pushed back.

Physically, with Carcillo and Brian McGrattan taking exception to Phaneuf's slash to teammate Keith Yandle's leg.

Responding on the scoresheet, too, they climbed back into the game late in the first period on a goal from Todd Fedoruk.

All alone at the hash marks after a collision with Dustin Boyd in the neutral zone sent the Flames centre off the ice, he collected a pass from Shane Doan and zipped the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff just as a powerplay expired with 1:02 to play.

But Phaneuf's first of the season settled the visitors down, and the Flames blasted shot after shot at Tellqvist to no avail. Iginla added an empty-netter to ice the win.

Making his second straight start, Tellqvist made Gretzky look good with 32 saves on the night.

The Flames swept their two-game road swing and are now winners of three straight. They return home to face the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the Dome.


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