The surprising Phoenix Coyotes might be disappointed to see their current road trip end.
The Coyotes will try to wrap up their five-game trip with a winning record on Tuesday night when they visit the Calgary Flames.
Phoenix (28-22-3) beat Colorado 4-3 in overtime on Monday, moving into a tie with Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes, who have not reached the postseason since 2001-02, are three wins shy of matching their total from last season.
If Phoenix does manage to reach the postseason, it will likely be thanks to its play on the road. Monday’s victory was the Coyotes’ 17th away from home, tying them with San Jose for the second-most road victories in the Western Conference behind Detroit’s 19.
Phoenix, which hosts Columbus on Thursday, is just 11-11-2 at home this season.
The Coyotes improved to 2-1-1 on their road swing as Radim Vrbata was credited a controversial goal with 1:37 left in overtime, after Shane Doan appeared to net the game-winner. However, Colorado coach Joel Quenneville was upset afterward, claiming that the referee had the whistle in his mouth and that the play was going to be blown dead before the goal scored.
The game-winner came after Vrbata tied the game on a pass from Steven Reinprecht off the faceoff with 3:11 remaining in regulation.
“We got lucky,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “Reinprecht made a great play on the goal that tied it. Then, we win it on a kind of a funny game-winning goal.”
Now, the Coyotes will be trying to build on that momentum against Calgary, which has won 11 of the last 15 meetings. Phoenix won 3-1 in Calgary in the last matchup on Jan. 8, ending a three-game losing streak on the road in the series.
The Flames (26-19-8) have dropped two straight since a four-game winning streak, including Monday’s 5-0 loss in Edmonton.
“We just didn’t have any life in the beginning, I have no idea why,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said. “That’s the coach’s responsibility to make sure the team’s ready and they weren’t ready so I take full responsibility for the really poor outing.”
Curtis Joseph, who signed with Calgary on Jan. 17, made his season debut, but failed to match Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk for fourth all time with his 447th win. Only Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and Ed Belfour have more career regular season wins.
“I would have liked to have come out of the first with nothing against,” said Joseph, who allowed two first-period goals. “That gave them some life, you could tell. As a goaltender you want to make the big saves.”
Joseph is 23-11-0 with three ties and a 2.72 goals-against average in 38 career starts against the Coyotes franchise. Starter Miikka Kiprusoff, meanwhile, is 6-3-1 with a 2.08 GAA in 10 games against Phoenix.