PHOENIX (TICKER) —The Phoenix Coyotes knew they were going to have a lot to regret heading into the All-Star break if they lost this one.
Briere started the decisive play after beating Calgary captain Craig Conroy to a loose puck in the offensive zone. He threw the puck across to Abid, whose third career game-winner gave the Coyotes their fourth victory in five games going into an extended break.
“We had a good first period and you knew they were going to be accountable and answer the bell to that,” Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. “We started to turn over the puck in the neutral zone and we stopped skating and they came at us pretty good. Between the second and third, we discussed that we are going to regret it if we don’t win this one.”
Before Abid’s fourth tally in two games against Calgary, the Coyotes watched the Flames storm back for three goals in a 4:37 span midway through the second period.
“We had a good first period, but for some reason we were flat in the second,” Abid said. “They scored one goal, then we crumbled a little.”
Five days after an embarrassing 7-1 home loss to Phoenix, the Flames outshot the Coyotes, 15-4, in the second and got on the board when Chris Drury tapped a rebound of defenseman Toni Lydman’s shot around goalie Zac Bierk’s arm.
Clark ended an 11-game drought after picking off defenseman Deron Quint’s clearing attempt and Boughner put a wrist shot past Bierk for his first goal in 20 games.
“We had a mental lapse,” said Bierk, who allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time this season. “We played so well against them the last time and so well against them in the first period that maybe we came out in the second period and thought it would be easier than it was. When you let your guard down for even a shift or two, the momentum can change.”
But Bierk was sharp thereafter and made five of his nine third-period saves on Jarome Iginla, including a key stop him with three minutes remaining as Rob Niedermayer and Stephane Yelle collided with the goalie.
Phoenix got even 2:19 into the third period on Mike Johnson’s 14th goal. Johnson’s tally withstood a video review, which is nothing new for the Coyotes, who had nine goals disallowed in a 16-game span earlier this season.
Briere fired a shot from the circle and Johnson deflected the puck under Turek’s right pad. Turek fell back and officials had to review replays to determine if the goalie was pushed over the goal line.
Abid opened the scoring for Phoenix just 2:03 into the contest when he redirected Quint’s point shot.
Daymond Langkow made it 2-0 with 48 seconds left in the opening period, netting his 11th goal. The Coyotes appeared on their way to a second straight easy win over the Flames before the second-period outburst.
“We played well enough to win,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “If you score three goals on the road, you should win. We made three mistakes and they all cost us with odd-man rushes and turnovers.”
“They embarrassed us at home and we wanted to come out and play better, and all of a sudden, they jumped out on us for two goals,” Conroy added. “We were determined not to fall apart like last time and came back. All of a sudden, they got a good break. It was hard to tell. It looked like our goalie had it, but they called it a goal and gave them new life.”