Jooris nets hat trick; Flames beat Coyotes 5-2
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) The last time Josh Jooris had a hat trick, there weren't nearly as many caps on the ice.
Jooris scored three goals in the latest impressive performance of his terrific rookie season, leading the Calgary Flames past the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday night.
''It feels great,'' Jooris said. ''I go out there, try to play my game and if goals come like that, they come. Things worked out tonight.''
David Jones and Sean Monahan also scored for surprising Calgary, which has won seven of nine to move within one point of Western Conference leaders Vancouver and Anaheim. Jiri Hudler had two assists to extend his point streak to five games (five goals, five assists).
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Sam Gagner scored for the Coyotes, who also lost to the Flames 3-0 at home on Saturday.
''We had some chances we didn't score on and then they made some big plays and scored some goals. We can't give up those opportunities,'' Arizona captain Shane Doan said.
Jooris' second of the night snapped a 2-all tie at 7:13 of the second period on a neat setup from fellow rookie Johnny Gaudreau.
Up against the end boards, Gaudreau threaded a perfect centering pass to Jooris skating through the slot. With the puck on his forehand, Jooris got just enough of his shot for it to trickle up and over Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.
''I knew it was coming. I called for it but I didn't even have to call for it,'' Jooris said. ''He saw me so he made a great play and I got a pretty fortunate bounce and it trickled over (Smith's) stick.''
That same combination struck again when the 24-year-old Jooris, who was never drafted, scored into an empty net with 46 seconds left to send hats flying onto the ice.
It was the eighth goal for Jooris, in his first NHL season and second year as a pro. The Flames signed him out of Union College in the summer of 2013. Last season as an AHL rookie, he had only 11 goals in 73 games.
His previous hat trick came four years ago against Sacred Heart in the first game of his freshman season at Union.
Jooris is tied for third among NHL rookies in goals. Gaudreau, after going scoreless in his first five games, is up to 19 points. He ranks second in the league among rookies, four points behind Nashville's Filip Forsberg.
Not to be forgotten is Hudler, the third member of that line.
''Great game. Those three - Huds, Johnny and Joor - they have quite the chemistry going. It's fun. They're producing and on top of this, they're so reliable in the three zones. They're dominant right now,'' Flames coach Bob Hartley said. ''They're exciting to watch. They're a big, big part of our team.''
Also chipping in with two assists was veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman, enjoying a bounce-back season with eight goals and 15 points after scoring four times and collecting only 21 points a season ago.
''This year has been exciting for all of us. Young guys are coming in, they're excited because it's their first year,'' the 31-year-old Wideman said. ''We're having a lot of fun, we're playing the right way and we're playing hard. And for the older guys, it makes it exciting to come to the rink.''
Calgary got an insurance goal at 8:46 of the third when Monahan took a pass from Wideman and fired a shot into the top corner for his ninth of the season.
Trailing 2-1 entering the second period, Arizona tied it at 2:02 on Gagner's first goal in 14 games.
''We seem to be caught in this rut where we're winning one, then losing one,'' Gagner said. ''We have to find a way to string some wins together and make sure we're playing consistently.''
Calgary took a 2-1 lead at 18:36 of the first on a neat setup from Kris Russell. From the side boards, Russell sent a 50-foot backhand saucer pass across the crease that landed right on the stick of Jooris, who hammered the puck past Smith.
''That was unbelievable. That was one of the better passes I've seen. It landed right on my tape,'' Jooris said.
Calgary's Karri Ramo was coming off consecutive shutouts on the road against San Jose and Arizona. But his scoreless streak was snapped when Ekman-Larsson's high shot from the blue line eluded the screened goalie at 8:25, tying the score at 1.
Ramo finished with 27 saves to improve to 7-2-1.
Smith had 19 stops and fell to 5-12-2. The veteran was making back-to-back starts after beating Edmonton on Monday night.
''It's about winning hockey games, and when you give up four, five with an empty-netter, those are hard to come back in,'' Arizona coach Dave Tippett said.
It took only 1:12 for Calgary to take the lead. Jones fired a slap shot from the slot that beat Smith high on the glove side.
NOTES: Arizona D Connor Murphy (upper body) did not play. Chris Summers replaced him after sitting out the past six games. ... Back skating and nearing a return for the Flames are Matt Stajan (knee) and Mason Raymond (shoulder). They have missed 15 and 16 games, respectively. ... The Flames are 4-0 when leading after the first period. ... Calgary improved to 10-1-2 when scoring first.