Ekman-Larsson's OT goal lifts Coyotes to 2-1 win over Flames
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes grinded their way through the tough stretches, relied on great goaltending and won it on a big goal at the end.
Call it a Dave Tippett special.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in overtime, Mike Smith stopped 25 shots and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 Friday night for coach Tippett's 500th career victory.
''I've been involved in a lot of ugly games in that 500, so it's probably fitting that was an ugly game,'' said Tippett, who has 229 wins with Arizona and the rest with Dallas.
It certainly was right out of the Tippett playbook.
The Coyotes played a solid first period and both teams scored goals in the second on caroms: Martin Hanzal early for Arizona, Mark Giordano late on a power play for Calgary.
Arizona followed with a series of penalties, but Smith was sharp for the second straight game to send this one to overtime.
The Flames had the edge early in the 3-on-3 overtime, leaving the Coyotes gasping for air. Arizona flipped the ice for the final stretch, leaving Calgary's players winded and scrambling.
Arizona won it with 39 seconds left on the clock when Brad Richardson sent a pass from behind the goal to Ekman-Larsson, and he one-timed it past Karri Ramos.
After the game, the Coyotes handed their championship belt, awarded to the player of the game, to their low-key coach after his milestone victory.
''Coaches don't have many milestones, but that's a big one,'' Smith said. ''Players have milestones all the time, but coaches only have winning, which is all that matters, really.''
The Flames certainly had their chances to win.
Calgary had a rare power-play goal when Giordano scored his fifth of the season, but the Flames failed on five other chances with the man advantage to lose to Arizona for the first time in six games.
Ramos stopped 18 in his first loss in five career games against Arizona and the Flames lost for the first time in six 3-on-3 overtimes.
''It was a good road game,'' Flames coach Bob Hartley said. ''We played smart, we played hard, it's just the result, we wish we could change it.''
The Flames were coming off one of their worst performances of a disappointing season, blowing an early two-goal lead and a one-goal lead in the third period for a 5-3 loss to Anaheim on Tuesday night.
The Flames went straight to Arizona, where they watched the Coyotes beat Anaheim 4-2 on Wednesday night.
They played well and so did the Coyotes in a crisp first period.
Arizona needed 29 seconds of the second to take the lead, when a sharp-angle shot by Tobias Rieder hit the far post and caromed off Hanzal into the goal.
Smith stopped 29 shots against the Ducks and was sharp again, turning away some tough chances when the Flames picked up the pressure after Hanzal's goal.
The Coyotes took a series of penalties, though, and Giordano scored late in the period by wristing a loose puck through Smith's legs to tie the game at 1-all. That ended a 0 for 16 streak on the power play for Calgary.
Arizona kept sending players to the penalty box in the third period. The Coyotes killed off one penalty early and were called for another 8 seconds later but killed off both to get the game to overtime.
''Obviously, we'd like to score on those power plays and grab some momentum, but we did some good things,'' Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. ''I thought we played a good game throughout, but at the end of the day, on special teams, we get one there, that's the difference in the game.''
NOTES: Coyotes captain Shane Doan missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... The Flames entered the game 29th on the power play with eight goals in 58 chances (13.3 percent). ... Calgary C Jiri Hudler returned after missing two games with an illness.