Cammalleri sparks Flames' rout of Wild
Mike Cammalleri and Dion Phaneuf scored 20 seconds apart in the opening minute of the second period to spark the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 home win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
Jamie Lundmark notched his first goal in nearly two years later in the second, and Cammalleri made it 4-0 by adding his second of the night and team-leading 32nd of the season on the power play near the end of the third.
Minnesota's Marc-André Bergeron ended Miikka Kirpusoff's shutout bid by scoring with 3:36 left in the game. The Flames goalie faced a season-low 16 shots.
Cammalleri's seventh multi-goal game of the season propelled Northwest Division-leading Calgary (37-18-6) to its fourth straight win.
"We had to stay patient and try not to get frustrated against a team that does some good things defensively, and then we got rewarded there in that second," said Cammalleri, who is eyeing his first career trip to the post-season after arriving in Calgary via an off-season trade with the Los Angeles Kings.
The Flames, who are 7-0-2 in their last nine, continued their dominance of the Wild. Calgary has won all four meetings this season, and has taken 21 of the last 24 contests at the Saddledome.
This one came a lot easier than usual as each of the Flames' previous three wins this season came by a goal, with two of those decided in overtime.
Wild falling behind
Niklas Backstrom stopped 25 shots as Minnesota (30-25-5) failed to earn at least a point for the first time in five contests.
With 65 points in the standings, the Wild remain in a four-way tie for seventh with Dallas, Edmonton and Anaheim in the log-jammed Western Conference.
A second consecutive Northwest title looks highly unlikely — Minnesota trails Calgary by a whopping 15 points, and second-place Vancouver by five.
The Wild visit the Oilers for a key matchup on Saturday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET).
"It was a tough night for us. I don't think we were even close," said Backstrom. "They scored a couple big goals in the beginning of the second and the game was over. We need to get better tomorrow. It's going to take a whole 60 minutes."
Lundmark nets rare goal
After a scoreless first period, the Flames wasted no time jumping all over the Wild in the second. Cammalleri finished off a passing play with Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla just 17 seconds in, and Phaneuf blasted in a slapshot through a crowd 20 seconds later.
Lundmark made it 3-0 at 12:39 by tipping in Cory Sarich's shot for his first NHL goal since March 21, 2007, when he played for Los Angeles.
The rout was really on when Cammalleri corralled a rebound and beat Backstrom with 5:21 left in the game.
Only Bergeron's shot from the faceoff circle to Kiprusoff's right prevented the Flames netminder from his fifth — and easiest — shutout of the season.