Flames-Coyotes Preview

The Associated Press

The Phoenix Coyotes have a chance to climb into the playoff picture thanks in part to the Calgary Flames' latest win.

The Coyotes try to continue their recent home domination of the Flames as these Pacific Division foes close their season series Saturday night.

Phoenix (31-25-11) returns to the desert following what it considered a disappointing 2-2-0 road trip. The Coyotes pulled out back-to-back wins over Tampa Bay and Florida before falling 2-1 at Boston in Thursday's finale.

"We've got to get the next game," captain Shane Doan told the team's official website. "That's all we can worry about. The road trip is over. It wasn't a total disaster; it wasn't a huge success."

While Phoenix has gone 3-7-4 in its last 14 road games, it's 19-11-3 at home and seeking its fourth win in five games there.

"Obviously, we need more points than we got, and .500 is not what we're looking for," coach Dave Tippett said of his team's trek. "We've got to go home and regroup."

The Coyotes are two points behind Dallas for the Western Conference's second wild-card spot after getting some help from Calgary, which beat the Stars 4-3 in a shootout on Friday.

"Everybody knows the math," Tippett said. "It's about how hard you play and finding ways to win that matters now. That's all we can concentrate on."

The Coyotes have taken eight of nine from the Flames at home, including three straight by a combined 14-2 score. These teams have split four overall meetings this season, though.

The Flames (27-33-7), who posted their highest goal total of the season in Wednesday's 7-2 victory over Anaheim, are looking to win three straight for just the second time. They put together a season-best five-game winning streak Jan. 22-Feb. 1.

Center Michael Cammalleri has four goals in the last three games after scoring two against the Stars, the second of which tied things up with 4:30 left in regulation.

"It's kind of something that we've been doing pretty well as of late," said Cammalleri, whose team erased a two-goal deficit in the third period. "Whatever the score is coming into the third period and putting out all that we have and trying to keep going and stick with what we're trying to do. Sometimes you're rewarded."

The Flames also got a boost from Joey MacDonald, who finished with 22 saves in his first start since Nov. 1 after getting called up from the minors.

"Joey's a very well-liked guy," Cammalleri said of MacDonald. "He's got that mentality when he gets in a game he's just going to battle. It's like your best buddy who was a street hockey goalie growing up who is just going to make the saves you need to. And (Friday) he did that."

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith has gone 4-3-1 since the Olympic break while compiling a 2.10 goals-against average, more than one-half goal lower than his season mark of 2.67. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.48 GAA and one shutout against the Flames at home.

Center Martin Hanzal is still uncertain to play after missing the last six games with a lower-body injury.

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