Frolik scores 49 seconds into OT, Flames beat Coyotes 2-1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Stopped twice on dangerous chances earlier, Michael Frolik wasn’t about to let Mike Smith deny him a third time.
Frolik scored 49 seconds into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Frolik stole the puck from Brad Richardson after a faceoff in the Flames’ end and skated in at top speed and ripped a shot inside the post on Coyotes goalie Mike Smith for his team-leading sixth of the season.
“I saw a little bit more space outside to maybe go to the backhand,” Frolik said, “but last second I saw a guy coming across so I just tried to shoot it glove side and it went in.”
After a scoreless first period, Frolik had a great chance in the opening minute of the second but Smith jabbed out a pad to deny him from in close. Five minutes later, Smith throw up his glove and stabbed his snap shot from 20 feet out.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating when you have chances like that and it doesn’t go in,” Frolik said. “But I just try not to think about it and just keep going and try to do a little better on the next shot.”
Matthew Tkachuk scored in regulation for Calgary, which snapped a three-game home skid. Chad Johnson started for the second straight night and finished with 20 saves.
Tobias Rieder scored for Arizona and Smith, back after missing 12 games with a knee injury, stopped 22 shots.
Rieder gave the Coyotes the lead with 18 seconds remaining in the second period as he pounced on the rebound of Justin Martinook’s shot and buried it behind Johnson.
“We’re turning the puck over too much and bringing trouble on ourselves, not generating very much and turnovers are making us play too much in our own end,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said.
Calgary, limited to 13 shots through the first 40 minutes, tied it at 6:40 of the third as Tkachuk fired a shot from a sharp angle just above the goal line under the crossbar for his fourth.
“Any time a goal like that goes in is deflating for the whole team. That’s on me,” Smith said. “It could have been a 1-0 game and we’re feeling a lot different coming into the locker room tonight.”
Flames coach Glen Gulutzan continues to be impressed by the 18-year-old Tkachuk.
“It was one heck of a shot,” Gulutzan said. “There wasn’t any room there. He made a big play. He’d been working all night, like he usually does. I’m happy for him.”
The Flames controlled play ijn the third but couldn’t get a go-ahead goal. Among Smith’s stops in the period was a stick save on Dennis Wideman and a sharp pad stop on Troy Brouwer.
After an uneventful and scoreless first period, Calgary went to the attack to begin the second. On the opening shift, Tkachuk shot wide on a partial breakaway, Smith jabbed out a pad to deny Frolik from in-tight and TJ Brodie’s wrist shot from the low slot was turned aside.
Five minutes later, Frolik had another dangerous chance from in front only to be thwarted again, this time Smith throwing up his glove to stab Frolik’s snap shot from 20 feet out.
It was the first game in what will be an extended stretch for Calgary without leading scorer Johnny Gaudreau, who underwent finger surgery on Wednesday after getting injured Tuesday night in Minnesota.
“Every guy recognizes that we lost a really good player and now collectively, we have to play a certain way to get ourselves in a position to get points in this league,” Gulutzan said. “It’s certainly hurt us as a hockey club but we look at it as something we can rally around and try to find a true identity here.”
Sam Bennett took his spot on the top line with Sean Monahan and Brouwer.
NOTES: Linden Vey was inserted into the forward spot opened up by Gaudreau’s injury. ... Arizona’s Martin Hanzal (lower body) returned after missing six games. ... Defensemen Luke Schenn and Kevin Connauton returned to the Coyotes’ lineup with Connor Murphy and rookie Jakob Chychrun taking a seat.
Coyotes: At Vancouver on Thursday night.
Flames: Host Chicago on Friday night.