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Ribeiro scores twice as Coyotes dump Flames

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes juggled their lines after three games, in large part to take the "main man" stigma off free agent signee Mike Ribeiro. Since then Ribeiro, is performing like, well, the main man.

Ribeiro had his second straight two-goal game in a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday, and he has at least one point in each of the past seven games since moving to the second line.

"I didn't want him having the responsibility of being an individual, so we did some things to make sure we looked like a team," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a skilled guy. He finds opportunities. That's what skill players do. They find ways to have an impact on the game offensively."

Ribeiro, who scored all five of his goals in the past four games, put a shot high into an uncovered side of the net after taking a cross-ice pass from defenseman Keith Yandle to break a 2-2 tie at 5:47 of the third period.

"We've been playing together for a few games now, and we kind of know what to do," said Ribeiro, who centers a line with Mikkel Boedker and David Moss. "All that was 'Bods' and Moss forechecking to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone, and we were able to break them down. I like those open nets."

Phoenix right wing Radim Vrbata scored his 200th career goal on a power play in the first period, and Ribeiro gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead when he redirected a shot from left winger Boedker into the net at 10:19 of the second period.

"He gives another dimension," Boedker said of Ribeiro. "He does everything to perfection when he is really focused, and when he is on his game, he is one of the top guys in the league. For me, it's a fun experience to play with him."

Calgary tied the game after two Phoenix turnovers, one late in the second period and another early in the third.

Flames right winger Lee Stempniak scored his third goal of the season at 18:26 of the second period as the final man in on a rush. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made a skate save on a shot from the left side before Stempniak hit an open net.

Joe Colborne tied the game at 2 with his first goal of the season on a breakaway exactly three minutes into the third period after another Coyotes turnover. Colborne took the puck at center ice and raced in alone, tucking the puck behind Smith's right leg.

"We came out flat," said Colborne, who scored his first goal as a Flame. "They shut us down for the most part. It is nice to get the first one out of the way and get the monkey off my back."

Rob Klinkhammer added an empty-net goal with six seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

Smith turned aside 22 shots in the win, making only three saves in the first period and five in the first 30 minutes.

"They took it to us in the first period," Stempniak said. "We came back in the second half of the second period and made a game out of it, but too little, too late. We'd like to have a 60-minute effort."

The Coyotes (6-2-2) won for the fifth time in their past seven games, and they earned a point in all seven. They are 3-0-1 at home.

The rebuilding Flames (4-3-2) lost for the third time in four games after a fast start.

Calgary goalie Joey MacDonald made 29 saves after getting two games off while Karri Ramo was in net.

NOTES: Phoenix RW Shane Doan was scratched due to a lower-body injury. Doan saw a doctor Tuesday, Tippett said, adding that the injury does not appear serious. The Coyotes are calling Doan day-to-day. He has one goal and two assists this season. ... The Coyotes recalled RW Brandon Yip from AHL Portland and assigned LW Tim Kennedy to Portland on Tuesday. Yip had two assists in two his earlier games with the Coyotes this season. ... Calgary will finish a five-game road trip at Dallas on Thursday. The Flames lost the first two games of the trip before beating the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. ... Calgary D Mark Giordano was a pregame scratch, missing his first game of the season. He had two assists against Los Angeles and has nine points, seven assists, this season. ... The Coyotes and Vrbata's agent, Rich Evans, had dialogue on a contract extension in the preseason, but the talks were halted on the eve of the regular season. Evans said the sides will not talk during the season.
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