Frolik, Flames beat Coyotes 4-2

January 1, 2017
Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott, center, is congratulated by TJ Brodie, left, and Mark Giordano celebrate the team's 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Michael Frolik has once again found the back of the net.

Frolik had a goal and an assist in Calgary’s four-goal first period, and the Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Saturday night.

Frolik stopped a 20-game drought with his first goal since Nov. 16, also against the Coyotes.

“Sometimes it’s like that. I know the start for me was good and then I kind of couldn’t get it in,” Frolik said. “I’m happy that it went in today and hopefully it’s going to build the confidence a little bit back again.”

Mikael Backlund, Dennis Wideman and Lance Bouma also scored as Calgary improved to 4-0 against Arizona this season, and rookie Matthew Tkachuk extended his point streak to six games with an assist.

Brendan Perlini and Martin Hanzal scored for Arizona, which has lost seven straight. Louis Domingue, subbing for regular starter Mike Smith, made 20 saves.

“It’s just getting to the point where it’s embarrassing,” Hanzal said. “It’s on us. It’s on the players. We’ve got to stick together and start playing desperate, because it’s just not desperate enough.”

Flames goaltender Brian Elliott had 27 stops. He has won his last four starts after going over seven weeks without a win.

“It’s been said in this league, first one to three usually wins. It came true tonight as well,” Elliott said. “When you get spotted those goals and some run support, you can relax back there and just feel the puck a little bit.”

Frolik scored his seventh of the season at 6:08 of the first. Tkachuk’s power-play shot bounced into the slot and Frolik slid it past Domingue.

“He (Frolik) gives us so much every night,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. “He’s a top-rate penalty killer, he’s a top-rate 5-on-5 player, he can play against the best players and play in all situations. I was really happy, actually, to see him get rewarded.”

Wideman made it 2-0 at 12:09 on a shot from the point that went through two sets of legs before beating Domingue, who looked as if he didn’t see it.

The Flames struck again 29 seconds later when Bouma’s centering attempt banked in off the leg of Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski.

Frolik then helped set up Backlund’s team-leading 11th goal at 15:42. Backlund has scored in four straight games with six goals over that span.

Calgary went 2 for 4 on the power play. The Flames’ power play was tops in the NHL in December, scoring 17 times on 49 chances.

Elliott was especially sharp in the second when Arizona outshot Calgary 16-6.

After Perlini neatly steered in Shane Doan’s centering pass at 15:40 of the second, the Coyotes had another prime scoring chance when Micheal Ferland’s giveaway at the blue line sprung Tobias Rieder on a breakaway, but Elliott stuck out his skate to deny him on a deke.

Hanzal’s goal at 11:53 of the third got Arizona within two, but it couldn’t make up the deficit.

NOTES: Tkachuk’s point streak ties the New York Rangers’ Brady Skjei for longest by a rookie this season. ... Tkachuk also had six penalty minutes, giving him 70 on the season.


Coyotes: Visit Vancouver on Wednesday night.

Flames: Host Colorado on Wednesday night.

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