Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup and scored the game-winning goal Thursday night to help the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
Sidelined for the past seven games and 11 of the last 12 with a lower-body injury, the 28-year-old Czech gave Arizona its first lead 1:47 into the third when he deflected Stefan Elliott’s point shot out of mid-air and past Karri Ramo.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson also scored for Arizona (20-16-4), which sits alone in second in the Pacific Division on the strength of a 6-1-2 record in its last nine games.
The Coyotes picked up five-of-six points on their three-game Western Canada road trip and now return home where on Saturday night, they’ll host Nashville to kick-off a seven-game homestand.
Johnny Gaudreau, with his team-leading 18th goal, scored for Calgary (19-19-2). The Flames, who fall four points back of Arizona, lost on home ice for just the third time in their last 15 games.
With Mike Smith injured, rookie goaltender Louis Domingue made his fifth straight start and he continues to play well. He entered the night with a .926 save percentage and that will go up after his 25 saves.
His best stop came in the third period when he denied Mikael Backlund as he broke in on a two-on-one rush with Gaudreau that could have tied the game.
Domingue improved to 5-2-2.
Ramo has been hot lately. Starting his 11th game in a row, he entered the night with a .936 save percentage over his previous 10 outings.
Ramo’s best of his 31 saves came in the second. First, he jabbed out his right pad to rob Max Domi from the side of the net. Later, he scrambled across the crease to get his glove on a dangerous shot from Anthony Duclair.
Ramo’s record falls to 15-13-1.
Calgary struck first when its 30th-ranked power play connected for a rare goal at 14:37 of the first period.
Sean Monahan slid a pass to Gaudreau at the face-off dot and he fired a rising shot over Domingue.
Calgary, however, is also ranked 30th on the penalty kill and the Coyotes evened it less than four minutes later on a power play. Ekman-Larsson’s shot from the blue line appeared to change directions a couple times in eluding Ramo.
Notes: Flames went 22-6-1 against the Pacific last year. This season, they’re 4-7-1... Calgary D Deryk Engelland got back in the lineup after being scratched the previous two games... Arizona D Zbynek Michalek (upper body) missed his second game... Arizona improves to 4-11-0 in games in which it outshoots its opponent.Report Typo/Error