CALGARY, Alberta (AP) In a season highlighted by the emergence of some youngsters, Arizona’s veterans helped snap a 10-game road winless streak Friday night.
The 33-year-old Vermette put Arizona ahead 2-1 early in the third period, and then Richardson scored his two goals to clinch it.
“We know the situation we’re in, but we’re trying to push, trying to become a better team. There’s a lot of young guys here that are kind of learning their way. These are big games for all of us,” Richardson said.
Boyd Gordon also scored for Arizona, and Louis Domingue made 24 saves. Shane Doan had two assists and has 41 points this season, giving him his 14th season with at least 40. The Coyotes are 2-8-1 in their last 11 games.
Calgary got back defenseman Dennis Wideman after an arbitrator reduced his 20-game suspension for physically abusing an official down to 10 games earlier in the day.
“I’m just excited to get back and get playing and help the Flames win some games here,” Wideman said. “I know that this was pretty chaotic the last couple weeks and a bit of a distraction.”
Arbitrator James Oldham announced Wideman’s suspension would be reduced, ruling that the Calgary defenseman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson. That paved the way for him to return to the lineup. He had already sat out 19 games.
“First and foremost, I just want to wish Donnie Henderson a speedy recovery. I realize that he’s still working through his injuries and trying to make his way back and I hope to see him back out on the ice as soon as possible,” Wideman said. “As far as the ruling goes, I’m happy it was reduced to 10 games. I still maintain that it was completely accidental and I had no intent on hitting Donnie at all.”
Vermette’s power-play goal put the Coyotes ahead 2-1 3:15 into the third. He sneaked out of the corner and from the side of the net, then shot in a cross-ice pass from Martin Hanzal.
“Our power play needed to be generating a little more, a little better execution,” Vermette said. “On that play, our entry was pretty good, we executed a few tight plays and eventually we used the width of the ice. It was a great play by Marty Hanzal to see me backdoor.”
Arizona got an insurance goal at 14:18 of the third when Richardson backhanded in Doan’s rebound, then Richardson added an empty-netter.
Calgary took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal 21 seconds into the second period. Michael Frolik cut in from off the wing on a 2-on-1 and neatly slid a pass across to Backlund, and he buried his 15th into the open net.
Backlund has been on a roll lately with 10 goals in his last 18 games. This comes after he scored just five times in the first 50 games.
Arizona tied it at 15:01 of the second on a short-handed goal of its own. Gordon blocked Dougie Hamilton‘s shot leading to a 2-on-1 in which Justin Martinook sent a pass across to Gordon, who batted it in out of the air.
Gordon has two goals in his last three games after 48 games without a goal to begin the season.
Two of his best stops came close together midway through the period second with the game tied 1-1. First he denied Micheal Ferland‘s 15-foot snap shot from the slot. Then he turned aside a dangerous chance by Mark Giordano.