Flames Bounce Back with 3-2 Win

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Jarome Iginla wasn’t much of a factor in the Calgary Flames’ first two playoff games, managing just two shots in two losses. He made up for his slump in Game 3.

The Flames captain scored the go-ahead goal at 9:21 of the third period, leading Calgary to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

“I was due wasn’t I?” Iginla said. “I definitely felt I was due.”

Matthew Lombardi and defenseman Mark Giordano scored power-play goals for the Flames, who avoided falling behind 3-0 in the Western Conference quarterfinal series. Game 4 will be Thursday night at Calgary, with Detroit leading 2-1.

The Flames had a league-leading 30 wins at home during the regular season.

“Part of it is confidence,” Iginla said. “We’re at home and we believe when we play our game, we can beat people.”

Kris Draper scored twice for Detroit, and Daniel Cleary assisted on both goals.

“We didn’t want to shoot the puck tonight,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We wanted to overpass and when you do that against a team that’s working hard defensively, they end up coming back the other way a lot.”

After getting badly outplayed in the opening two games of the series in Detroit, the Flames regained some confidence with the victory and maintained their reputation of being tough to beat in their own arena.

The fire alarm at the Saddledome went off five minutes into the third period, but no one in the sold-out building was about to leave – not with the score tied at 2.

Iginla hit the post during a power play with about six minutes left in the first period, but redeemed himself with the winner in the third. He streaked down the wing, got a step on Detroit captain Niklas Lidstrom and fired a shot over Dominik Hasek’s shoulder.

“I thought we were a lot more resilient all the way around,” Iginla said. “This was by far our biggest game of the year.”

Miikka Kiprusoff got far better support from his defense than he did in the first two games at the Joe Louis Arena, where he faced 97 shots. He stopped 28 shots for the win, while Hasek made 25 saves.

Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi appeared in first playoff game since May 8, 2003, with the Vancouver Canucks. He was suspended before the 2004 postseason because of his vicious hit on Colorado’s Steve Moore.

The big forward, who sat out the three previous games with a concussion, had regular work on Detroit’s power play and Detroit’s fourth line. He was booed whenever he touched the puck.

Giordano scored in his NHL playoff debut, connecting during a power play at 4:43 of the second period to tie it at 2. His shot from above the faceoff circle beat a screened Hasek stickside.

“It was exciting and it gave us some momentum,” Giordano said. “It’s a pretty big game and it was a pretty big goal, so it’s probably up there at the top of my career so far.”

Draper’s second of the game 39 seconds into the period was due to some hard work by Cleary.

Cleary sent Dion Phaneuf flying into the corner and lost his helmet in the process, but recovered the puck behind the goal line and sent it out to Draper in front of the net to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.

“Cleary has been maybe our best player so far this series,” Babcock said. “That line was really hard to play against, they were physical, and they got the puck to the net.”

Calgary led for the first time in the series on Lombardi’s power-play goal at 9:20 of the second period, but Draper evened it up just over two minutes later.

Scoring Summary

1st Period
No Scoring

2nd Period
CGY: Lombardi (1) A: Tanguay, Moss
DET: Draper (1) A: Cleary

3rd Period
DET: Draper (2) A: Cleary
CGY: Giordano (1) Unassisted
CGY: Iginla (1) A: Primeau, Amonte

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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