Iginla Has Another All-Star Night in Phoenix

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If Jarome Iginla wants to be considered an elite captain, playing like he did Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes is a good place to start.

Iginla scored two goals and assisted on two others and the Calgary Flames downed the Phoenix Coyotes 6-3.

“Jarome’s focus is to be top captain in this league,” said Flames coach Jim Playfair. “To be a top captain, you need to be a top player in leading your team. That’s his focus.”

The four-point performance tied a career best for Iginla, who had a four-point game earlier this season against Minnesota. Iginla set a personal mark of four points in one game against Phoenix on Feb. 23, 2003.

The Flames took the lead late in the opening period when Iginla knocked in a rebound of a Dion Phaneuf shot from the left point at 18:21.

The Flames increased their lead to 2-0 early in the middle period when Alex Tanguay fired into an open net with Phoenix goal Mikael Telleqvist out of position.

Phoenix answered with two goals within 3 1/2 minutes.

Defender Keith Ballard carried the puck in behind the Calgary net and slid a pass out in front. A trailing Ladislav Nagy shot the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff at 4:28. Mike Comrie lifted in a rebound at 8:01 to tie the game.

The Flames regained the lead when Daymond Langkow scored on a power-play goal, grabbing a rebound from Richie Regehr’s shot from the right point at 10:06. On the play, Telleqvist lost his stick and was caught in a tangle of players in front of the Coyotes net.

Langkow also had three assists in the game.

Iginla added his second tally of the game, and 20th of the season, with a two-man advantage when he fired in a 20-foot wrist shot from the slot at 7:12 of the final period.

“I thought we stood up pretty well against (the Iginla, Langkow, Tanguay line),” said Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris. “Seems like they just find ways to win battles. It was that one line that beat us.”

The Coyotes drew within one at 4-3 when Travis Roche crashed the slot, knocking in a drive off the stick of Oleg Saprykin at 14:55 for his first NHL goal.

Calgary responded when Bryon Ritchie drove in a rebound at 15:50 to up the Flames’ lead to 5-3.

“When they tied he game, we dug a little deeper,” said Ritchie. “Our big line came up with a big goal when they tied it, and that got us going.”

Iginla’s final assist came on an empty-net goal from the Flames’ Tony Amonte in the final minute.

It was the fourth loss in the last five games for Phoenix.

“Iginla was the best player on the ice, and he was the difference,” said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky. “With the effort he gives on each and every shift and in every game, and when you have that much skill, you’re going to have benefits.”

Scoring Summary

1st Period
CGY: Iginla (19) A: Phaneuf, Giordano

2nd Period
CGY:Tanguay (8) A: Iginla, Langkow
PHX: Nagy (5) A: Ballard, Nolan
PHX: Comrie (6) A: Morris, Nolan
CGY: Langkow (10) A: Amonte, Regehr

3rd Period
CGY: Iginla (20) A: Langkow, Huselius
PHX: Roche (2) A: Saprykin, Laraque
CGY: Ritchie (2) A: Amonte, Yelle
CGY: Amonte (6) A: Iginla, Langkow

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.


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