Coyotes Burn Flames


The Phoenix Coyotes haven't lost three straight all season, and didn't want to start Tuesday night not with a visit to the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings coming up.

Trevor Letowski, Jeremy Roenick and backup goalie Bob Essensa made sure they didn't have to.

Letowski ended Phoenix's power-play drought, Roenick also scored and Essensa made 34 saves as the Coyotes beat the Calgary Flames 2-1.

"Any time you break a streak like that it's big," said Letowski, whose goal was the Coyotes' first in 17 chances with the man advantage. "We never want to lose three in a row, and we avoided that."

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  • Roenick gave Phoenix a 2-0 lead 28 seconds into the second period, and the Coyotes made the lead stand up despite being outshot 25-9 from that point.

    Flames coach Brian Sutter called Roenick's effort to get open for the first shot of the second period a key to the game.

    "We didn't play a losing hockey game tonight," Sutter said. "Because of little things like that, we lose."

    Tommy Albelin scored a shorthanded goal with 5:54 left for the Flames, whose five victories have all come in overtime.

    "We had some opportune goals," Roenick said. "No question about it. We got the one on the power play and then one early in the second and then held on. They got a fortunate goal in the third, but Bobby played really well in the net."

    The Coyotes were last in the NHL in power-play success at home, scoring on 10 percent of their opportunities.

    But te average went up late in the first period, when Flames goalie Fred Brathwaite tried to clear the puck and flipped it over the glass, incurring a delay-of-game penalty with seven seconds left in a penalty on Calgary's Jarome Iginla.

    Calgary was able to kill the first penalty, but Letowski made good during the second, taking a pass from Radoslav Suchy and firing a low shot through traffic with 1:29 left in the period.

    Roenick opened the second with his eighth goal when a shot from the blue line by Keith Carney bounced out to him just outside the crease. Roenick easily put the puck behind Brathwaite into an empty net.

    "They got their bounces," said Brathwaite, who stopped 22 shots. "That's exactly the kind of luck we've been having. We played well enough to win, but Bob made some key saves when he had to."

    Phoenix's Greg Adams had a goal disallowed later in the second period because he crashed into the net before the puck crossed the goal line.

    Albelin got to the rebound of a shot by Travis Brigley and fired a wrist shot from the circle that cost Essensa his first shutout in nearly three years.

    Essensa, who held the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise record for career shutouts until Nikolai Khabibulin passed him last season, got his last shutout against Vancouver on Dec. 23, 1996, when he was playing for Edmonton. He improved to 3-0-1 as Mikhail Shtalenkov's backup this season.

    "For whatever reason, we haven't been clicking offensively or defensively for a while, we sort of changed that tonight," said Essensa, who improved to 3-0-1 as Mikhail Shtalenkov's backup.

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