A win over the St. Louis Blues sparked the Calgary Flames’ best stretch of hockey this season. Beating the Blues for the second time in 10 days would give the Flames their longest winning streak in a year as these clubs meet at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Tuesday.
Calgary (7-7-2) won 3-2 at St. Louis (5-8-3) on Nov. 4 thanks to Jarome Iginla’s power-play goal with 4:27 to play. That game ended a four-game skid and sparked the current four-game win streak for the Flames, who had not won back-to-back games all season.
Iginla’s goal late in the second period triggered Calgary’s comeback from a two-goal deficit in a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
“It took us a while to kind of find what style of game we were going to play and how we were going to have success,” said Iginla, who has three goals and four assists over the past five games. “It just seems we’re skating a lot better, a lot more aggressive.”
Calgary has not won five straight since an eight-game run, its longest of the 2005-06 season, from Nov. 1-16.
The Flames have scored three goals in every outing during this four-game streak and have allowed a total of only five, with Miikka Kiprusoff starting in net each time. He’s posted a .959 save percentage during that span, and stopped all 12 shots he faced in the second period on Saturday en route to his 26 saves.
“A big turning point was Kipper playing unbelievable in the second to keep us in there,” said Iginla, who leads Calgary with nine goals and 18 points. “It could have been 3-0, but we found a way to come back and win.”
Iginla has led the Flames to a 6-0-1 mark in the last seven meetings with St. Louis, recording at least one point in each game while totaling five goals and five assists.
Kiprusoff has allowed no more than two goals in each of his last five starts versus the Blues, and has a career 4-2-1 record against them with a 2.41 goals-against average.
The loss earlier this month to Calgary was the first of three straight for St. Louis, but the team bounced back Sunday to beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3.
The Blues, who trailed in the second period of their previous three games, never fell behind on Sunday and took a 3-2 lead into the final period.
“In the past, we’d get down by a couple of goals and then come out and play with a lot desperation and urgency,” said Lee Stempniak, who had a goal and an assist. “We’re a much better team when we do that all game.”
Martin Rucinsky scored twice after going nine straight games without a goal for St. Louis, which tied a season high with its five-goal outburst. The team had a combined five goals during the three-game skid.
Left wing Keith Tkachuk ran his point streak to seven games by recording his team-leading 12th assist. He also tops the Blues with 16 points.
Goaltender Curtis Sanford made 30 saves to earn just his second win of the season, and first since beating Chicago on Oct. 21. Sanford continues to share time in the net with Manny Legace, who has lost his last two starts and four of five.