Iginla, Flames sizzle in St. Louis
It is no secret that Jarome Iginla fuels the Calgary Flames. Just ask the St. Louis Blues.
Iginla led the Flames with two goals and two assists in a 6-3 victory over the host Blues before a crowd of 16,426 at the Scottrade Center on Tuesday night.
It was Calgary's fifth consecutive victory over St. Louis and 12th in the last 13 meetings.
"He had a great game," Flames head coach Mike Keenan said of Iginla, Calgary's captain and emotional sparkplug.
"He had a leadership game and you expect that from your best players. He was engaged tonight and it looked like that right from the start."
"Maybe the best forward in the game," Blues head coach Andy Murray exclaimed.
By coincidence, Iginla had a four-point night in the same building exactly one year ago.
"The same day? Oh, that's cool," he said. "I'm glad I didn't get that in my head.
"But this is a good hockey barn. It is a good atmosphere."
Matthew Lombardi had one goal and two assists for the Flames (17-11-3), who halted a three-game losing skid.
Mike Cammalleri contributed a goal and an assist, while Adrian Aucoin and Daymond Langkow rounded out the scoring.
Cammalleri hadn't scored since potting the winner in a 4-3 overtime victory at St. Louis on Dec. 5.
Craig Conroy and Cory Sarich had two assists apiece, and Miikka Kiprusoff kicked out 28 of 31 shots in the win.
Kiprusoff is 13-3-1 lifetime versus the Blues, who haven't beaten him since a 3-2 shootout win on Jan. 30, 2006.
"I don't want to think about it too much because then I will lose the next one," he said. "I just try to do the same stuff night after night."
Brad Boyes had one goal and one assist for the Blues (12-15-3), losers in their last four games and six of seven.
Patrik Berglund and David Backes also scored, and Chris Mason surrendered six goals on 31 shots.
"We have to keep games close and, defensively, we just didn't make the right decisions," Blues defenceman Barret Jackman said. "When you're giving up five or six goals a game, it is hard to win."
Flames take 3-0 lead
Iginla was knocked to his knees at the right post by Blues defenceman Mike Weaver, and was credited for opening the scoring when Sarich's shot struck him and bounced into the net 4:14 into the contest.
Iginla made it 2-0 in a traditional fashion, taking a pass from Conroy in the high slot and rifling a wrist shot past Mason for his second goal of the period and 16th on the season.
Lombardi's third put the Flames ahead 3-0 less than seven minutes in the second period, but Berglund replied 31 seconds later with his 10th and Boyes slipped a shot under Kiprusoff's right armpit for his 16th at 10:31.
Calgary struck back at the 12:09 mark as Iginla faked a shot from the circle and threaded a gorgeous pass through three skaters to Cammalleri, who whisked it in the open side for his 11th.
"He froze everybody," Murray said. "I think everybody in the building thought he was shooting the puck, including Chris [Mason], and Chris has to honour that shot when it is Jarome Iginla."
Iginla later chipped the puck up ice to create a 2-on-1 break for Lombardi and Aucoin, who tucked the puck inside the left post for his fourth with 1:59 left in the period.
The assist was Iginla's 799th NHL point.
"I didn't know I was that close to 800," he said. "But I was thankful for the points."
Backes trimmed the deficit 5:41 into the third period, receiving the puck in the slot off pretty backhand passes from Boyes and Keith Tkachuk and snapping it inside the left post for his eighth.
But the Flames struck three minutes later as Jamie Lundmark flicked a pass from the corner into the slot for Langkow, who fired it by Mason in one motion for his eighth.
"Two three-goal leads is something we cannot give up, especially with all the injuries we have to some key offensive guys," Jackman said.
With files from the Canadian Press