Iginla and Huselius scored goals in the third period and the
Flames rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Saturday night.
The win came at the end of an otherwise unsuccessful four-game
trip in which Calgary lost in Vancouver and at the two New York
teams by a combined four goals, including an empty-netter. The
Flames gave up two-goal leads against the Canucks and Rangers, and
had two leads against the Islanders.
"In both the Long Island and the Ranger game, Kristian and
Jarome had great opportunities to either tie or win those games and
they missed them," Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. "Tonight
they both scored. It's the difference in the game."
Iginla gave Calgary a 2-1 lead 1:17 into the final period,
beating Manny Fernandez with a wrist shot. Matthew Lombardi
outmuscled Wes Walz for the puck at the edge of the Minnesota net,
before passing the puck through traffic to Iginla, who has 25
points in 26 games against Minnesota. He's the career scoring
leader against the Wild.
"The third period was probably the best we've played in a long
time," Iginla said. "It was a very big game for us as far as
momentum. We all knew the importance of it. We've got four days to
live with it now."
Defenseman Rhett Warrener said the players knew they had to play
all out for the final 20 minutes.
"We've been having good first periods and then shutting it down
for the next two," Warrener said. "Tonight we wanted to make sure
we got better as the game went along.
"We gave away some points on this trip and certainly didn't
play as well as we wanted. This gives us a good taste going home."
With a Wild defenseman nearly hanging on him, Huselius
redirected Daymond Langkow's shot from the right boards past
Fernandez at 7:55 for a 3-1 lead.
"Once they scored that second and third goal we kind of stopped
playing," Minnesota wing Marian Gaborik said. "We just can't do
Tony Amonte added an empty-net goal for Calgary, which has
beaten its Northwest Division foe four straight times, outscoring
Minnesota 10-0 in the third period.
"If you can get 10 points out of every team in your division
then you have a chance to make the playoffs," Sutter said.
Kurtis Foster scored a first period power-play goal for the
Wild, 1-3 on their seven-game homestand. They have managed only one
goal in two consecutive games.
"This was definitely a big game for us. If we want to stay in
the group that has a chance to get closer to making the playoffs we
have to win some of these games," said Minnesota coach Jacques
Lemaire, whose team began the night nine points behind Colorado for
eighth place in the Western Conference. "We played a team where we
needed a little extra from everyone. We got it from a few, but not
Langkow tied it 1:43 into the second period when he redirected
Richie Regehr's slap shot past Fernandez, who entered the game with
the league's best goals against average (1.98) and save percentage
(.932). He finished with 19 saves. Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff
stopped 21 shots.
Wild C Brian Rolston has a point in nine of 10 games. ...
RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard returned to the lineup for Minnesota after
missing two games with a strained neck. ... Minnesota is 1-17-2
when scoring two or fewer goals.