A great second effort by Jarome Iginla earned some praise from an opponent and helped the Calgary Flames snap a three-game slide.
Iginla scored the game-winning goal in the third period of Calgary’s 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Thanks to a nice pass from Alex Tanguay, the Flames captain found himself on a partial breakaway.
St. Louis defenceman Wade Redden made a nice play to knock the puck away from Iginla, who stuck with the puck to score a wrap-around goal.
“It was a good pass by Tangs right up the middle,” Iginla said. “He did poke it. I just jammed at it. It was nice to see it go by him.”
Veteran St. Louis forward Andy McDonald credited Iginla for not giving up on the play.
“I think everybody thought the play was dead, but it just shows you he’s a great player in this league,” McDonald said. “That’s why. He doesn’t give up on the play and he’s able to find the puck and make a great play. We didn’t have answer for him.”
After the game, Iginla also addressed rumours of possibly being dealt to another team before the NHL’s trade deadline on April 3.
“Honestly, we’ve made it this far in the year,” said Iginla, who would have to waive his no-movement clause for a deal to happen. “There is a lot of speculation about our team and me individually. Now with an important win for our team, it will work itself out in whatever it is — a week away. I don’t want to contribute to it.”
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 36-of-38 shots as the Flames (12-14-4) extended their winning streak on home ice at the Scotiabank Saddledome to seven straight games.
“It would be easy maybe to spot the three stars — I’ll give them to Kipper,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. “We talked about this many times how valuable he is to this hockey club. Tonight, he was the best player on the ice for the two teams.”
Hartley also commended Roman Cervenka, who scored Calgary’s other two goals, with playing well for the Flames.
“He generated space for himself,” Hartley said. “There’s no doubt in our mind that Roman is capable of big goals. He’s a gifted hockey player has great skills (and) has a great shot.”
T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist for the Blues (17-12-2), who had won four of their past five games including a 3-0 win in Edmonton over the Oilers one night earlier. Vladimir Sobotka also scored for St. Louis.
“We had a lot of shots and we couldn’t execute and put the puck in,” Sobotka said. “This can’t happen.”
St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak, who stopped all 19 shots he faced in the win over Edmonton, made 14 saves against Calgary.
It took until almost the 10-minute mark before Jiri Hudler finally recorded Calgary’s first shot of the game.
Cervenka then scored on the second shot of the contest for the Flames when he took a pass from Dennis Wideman and wired a shot to the top corner past Halak during a Calgary power play.
Cervenka put the Flames up 2-0 at 9:40 of the second when he made a nice forehand-to-backhand move before lifting the puck up and over Halak.
“He recognized that he had time,” Hartley said. “He just put Halak down with a fake on the blocker side and pulled it back to his backhand and it was another great goal.”
Mikael Backlund also made a nice play by keeping the puck in at the blue-line and tapping it ahead to Hudler, who set up Cervenka.
The Blues were then finally rewarded for their persistence when Oshie scored an unassisted goal at 16:40 of the second. Oshie stepped out of the penalty box and stripped Wideman of the puck before snapping a shot past Kiprusoff.
Although they outshot the Flames 19-4 in the second, the Blues still trailed 2-1 heading into the third.
St. Louis nearly tied up the game early in the third period but Redden’s heavy shot from the point hit the left post behind Kiprusoff and deflected wide.
Sobotka pulled the Blues even with a goal at 4:48 of the third when he tapped a goal-mouth scramble through Kiprusoff’s legs.
Notes: Oshie scored in his second straight game after sitting out the previous three with an injury to his ribs. a In Calgary’s past eight games, Cervenka was a healthy scratch three times and failed to record a point in the other five contests. a After starting the season with two goals and 17 points in 24 games, St. Louis defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk has gone seven games without recording a point. a Although they’ve been hot at home, the Flames have been miserable away from the Saddledome as they’ve lost nine straight decisions on the road, going 0-8-1 in that span.