Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross were the catalyst for the Calgary Flames tonight as they scored powerplay goals 82 seconds apart in the 2nd period to lead the Flames to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The win was a big one for the Flames who bounced back in a big way after losing in Chicago on Wednesday night.
Though the Flames dropped to 7th place in the west with the loss on Wednesday, they climbed back into 5th place with the win tonight. The other teams chasing them still have games at hand, but that will only matter once the Flames start losing regularly. If they keep winning, the extra games Calgary has played will slowly start to become less significant.
Missing an injured Brendan Morrison and a sick Mikael Backlund, the Flames welcomed trade-deadline additions Freddy Modin and Brett Carson to their lineup tonight. Neither player had much of an impact on the game, though Modin did end up with a plus/minus of -1 on the night.
Always steadfast in net, Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 37 of 40 shots, including 29 in the last 2 periods, for a .925 save percentage. Kipper has been playing amazing lately, and has been one of the major reasons that the Flame have been able to keep themselves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. He notched his 30th win of the season tonight, making this the 6th straight season that he has reached the 30-win mark. Of note tonight was the fact that Kipper stopped two penalty shots. I’m sure one of the stats guys out there will be able to quote an accurate number, but I can’t imagine that there have been very many games with two different penalty shot attempts, let alone two stops by a goalie.
Olli Jokinen scored for the Flames tonight and added an assist in the effort, doing a great job of digging himself out of the Red Mile Blog doghouse. He still has a lot of work to do, though, and short of raising the Cup this year, I’m not convinced that he’ll win me over. Egg head, as he’s known in this household, has been heating up recently, and now has 44 points, but he still needs to live up to his “potential” if that’s even possible.
Though it was a bit of a weird goal, Jarome Ignila added his 29th of the season, and moved within one goal of securing his own landmark. Iggy currently sits with 29 goals, and his next goal will give him 30 goals in 10 straight seasons. The fact that he will score 30 goals this year is a foregone conclusion at this point. With 3 goals in his last four games, he doesn’t appear to be having any problems finding the back of the net, and it’s only a matter of time until he joins only a handful of players to ever score 30 goals this consistently.
The Flames have 15 games remaining and their next match is on Sunday versus Nashville. The Predators are still very much in the race in the west so it will be another important 2 points up for grabs.