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Kadri helps Flames rally to edge Coyotes 6-5

Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri (91) celebrates his goal with teammates during third period NHL hockey action against the Arizona Coyotes in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 14, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri (91) celebrates his goal with teammates during third period NHL hockey action against the Arizona Coyotes in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 14, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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CALGARY -

Trailing by a goal entering the third period, Nazem Kadri stepped up as he has all season.

Kadri scored the tying and winning goals while also adding an assist on Sunday night to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

“There's not too many nights where (Kadri) hasn't factored into a game,” said Flames coach Ryan Huska. “I'm happy for the way he's approached his season this year, he's done a lot of great things for us.”

Kadri leads the club in scoring with 74 points, 15 points more than Yegor Sharangovich, who is second.

“He's a competitor, he always has been. When he finds himself in a situation where someone needs to step up or grab hold of things, I think he has a sense of obligation that that person is him,” Huska said.

Down 5-4 to start the third, it took Kadri only 74 seconds to tie the game on a shot from a sharp angle.

Kadri's deflection at 5:43 on the power play then gave Calgary its first lead.

“My entire life, even in youth hockey, I've always tried to take pride in making my linemates better,” said Kadri. “Just communicating and having chemistry because I understand that as a unit, that team success usually leads to individual success as well.”

The latest to shine on his line is Andrei Kuzmenko, who had a goal and an assist giving him nine goals and 16 points over the last nine games.

“He's not necessarily afraid of risk, which can be a good and bad thing,” said Kadri, when asked about his talented Russian winger. “But once you start to manage the areas of the ice, time, and score kind of thing, which comes with experience, I think that can be a heck of a tool to use, just being fearless and not being afraid to make mistakes.”

It's the 10th time the Flames have come back to win when trailing after 40 minutes, which is tied with the Colorado Avalanche and the New York Rangers for tops in that category.

“We came in here, we reset, we knew we're down by one, but it's not really a big deal for this group, it hasn't been all year playing from behind going into the third,” said Connor Zary, who had a goal.

Matt Coronato and Sharangovich also scored for Calgary (37-38-5).

Dylan Guenther with a pair, Alex Kerfoot, Matias Maccelli, and Josh Doan scored for Arizona (35-41-5).

“Too many breakdowns defensively,” said Kerfoot. “Little loose with the puck. They're a good team in transition and they make plays off the rush.”

The Coyotes had won four of their last five as they finish the season strong. They were 20 minutes away from going 4-1-0 on their five-game road trip.

“Our guys have showed a lot of character in the last week. Our last three games, really tight games and we pulled through two really tough games. Really proud of them,” said Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny.

“If you look at our team, we all know we're a young team and the way we react and the way we compete and the way we learn. We hear stuff on the bench now which shows the growth and understanding of the game management and the change and the puck placement.

“The players coach themselves more and more and I think that's because they understand where we need to go and what we need to improve.”

Dustin Wolf, the busier of the two goaltenders, had 30 saves to win his third straight start. He's 6-7-1 on the season.

Connor Ingram had 25 stops in falling to 22-21-3.

Tied 3-3 in the second period, Guenther's second goal of the game at 15:14 gave the Coyotes their third lead of the night.

Doan's goal just over a minute later made it a two-goal cushion, but Sharangovich responded 33 seconds after that cutting the lead back to one again at 5-4.

Doan, son of longtime Coyote great Shane Doan, has made an immediate impact in his first month in the NHL. The 22-year-old second-round pick from 2021 has racked up five goals and nine points in his first 10 games.

KUZMENKO CRUISING

Kuzmenko, who came over from Vancouver as part of the trade return for Elias Lindholm, has 14 goals and 26 points in 29 games with the Flames. At the time he was acquired, he had eight goals and 21 points in 43 games with the Canucks.

POWER-PLAY PROWESS

The Flames went 1-for-3 on the power play to improve to 13-for-31 (42 per cent) over their last nine games, dating back to March 28. That's No. 1 in the NHL over that span. Before that, Calgary ranked 30th. They've now moved up to 24th.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Flames: Visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2024.

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