(AP PHOTO/CP, John Ulan via Yahoo! Sports)
The Calgary Flames regained sole position of first place in the Northwest Division tonight with a road victory over the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Flames played consistently all night, and only lost momentum to the Oilers for a 5 minute span at the start of the 2nd period.
More than halfway through the season, Calgary (63 pts) has two points, as well as 1 game at-hand over the 2nd place Vancouver Canucks (61 pts) who were shutout 4-0 against the last-place St. Louis Blues (27 pts) tonight. Edmonton, who have lost 5 of their last 6 games dropped 7 points out of the race with their loss to the Flames tonight.
Jarome Iginla lead all scorers in tonight’s Battle of Alberta with 2 goals for the Flames. He opened the scoring in the first period off a nice feed from Matthew Lombardi, and added some insurance with the Flames 3rd goal midway through the 2nd period.
Iginla had several good scoring chances during the game, including a first period breakaway. He was hauled down by the Oilers defenceman but surprisingly, no penalty shot was awarded. Though Iginla crashed into the end boards and smashed his face, he came right back and continued to grind it out all game. Iginla had his 3rd goal disallowed in the 3rd period because he knocked it in with his glove.
The Oilers put on a valiant effort in the first period, but could not mantain any momentum through the game. They tied it at 1-1 eight minutes into the game when Ales Hemsky found a loose puck about 10 inches from the open net beside Miikka Kiprusoff. But The Flames regained their lead 16 seconds later when Kristian Huselius fired a rocket past Oilers goalie Mark Morrison.
Miikka Kiprusoff had a rock-solid performance tonight, and made 30 saves for the Flames. He was tested several times, but didn’t give the Oilers a chance to get in the game. The 2 goal buffer was all the flames needed to take their first victory in Edmonton since 2003.