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Flames 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)

The SportsXchange

CALGARY -- Mark Giordano ended a 10-game goal-scoring drought at a perfect time.

The Calgary Flames defenseman picked the top corner from the point with 23 seconds remaining in overtime as the Flames scratched out a 3-2 overtime victory against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

With the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings suffering a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Coyotes needed at least a point to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

They got it, but they would have preferred two. They Coyotes remain two points behind the Wings for the final post-season berth.

The Flames (14-21-4), meanwhile, are still in 14th in the Western Conference.

The Scotiabank Saddledome was only half-full when Coyotes center Antoine Vermette gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, banging in his own rebound only 1:29 after the opening faceoff.

The Flames tied it up with less than a minute remaining in the opening period, when Mikael Backlund's attempted pass from the corner hit Jiri Hudler's skate and changed directions. The play was reviewed, but it was ruled a good goal.

The Flames grabbed the lead late in the second period. With Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle in the penalty-box for tripping, T.J. Brodie's blast from the blue-line squeaked through Mike Smith's pads and winger Lee Stempniak poked the puck into the net for the powerplay marker. With the goal, Stempniak snapped his 14-game stretch without a goal.

Yandle earned a sliver of revenge with about five minutes remaining in the third period, beating Flames goalie Joey MacDonald with a one-timer after he was set up by defense partner Derek Morris.

Giordano accepted a pass from Curtis Glencross as the time ticked off the clock in the extra session for the winning goal.

MacDonald stopped 29 shots for the Flames, while Smith made 22 saves.

NOTES: The Flames boarded a flight immediately after Friday's game and will face the provincial-rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. ... The Coyotes will enjoy a two-day break before Monday's game against the San Jose Sharks. ... Flames left-winger Alex Tanguay suffered a knee injury in the second period and did not return. ... Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, although Drew LeBlanc (St. Cloud State) collected the hardware at Friday's banquet in Pittsburgh. ... Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone spent four seasons with the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen. Prior to Thursday's playoff game at the Scotiabank Saddledome, Stone left a good-luck message for his former team on the white-board in their dressing room. It worked, as the Hitmen advanced to the third round. ... With Hudler returning from an upper-body injury, the Flames reassigned center Blair Jones to their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, B.C. ... Coyotes winger Lauri Korpikoski (upper-body) missed a ninth straight game due to injury, while veteran defenseman Rostislav Klesla was a healthy scratch. Prior to the game, Phoenix assigned forward Chris Brown to Portland of the AHL. ... The Flames signed winger Ben Hanowski to a two-year, two-way contract. The 22-year-old, acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Jarome Iginla trade, just finished his senior season at St. Cloud State, registering 17 goals and 14 assists in 37 games. ... Yale forward Kenny Agostino, also acquired by the Flames in the Iginla swap, will play in Saturday's NCAA Frozen Four final.
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