Late rallies on the road have translated into wins recently for the Calgary Flames.
Calgary will go for its season-high third win in a row when it continues a five-game road trip against Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
This is Calgary’s in first regular-season visit to the St. Pete Times Forum since the Lightning beat the Flames in 2004 for their only Stanley Cup championship.
On Tuesday, the Flames (13-13-5) got the tying goal from Jarome Iginla with 10.2 seconds left in regulation, and Kristian Huselius scored the lone tally of a shootout to earn a 2-1 win over Florida. Two nights earlier, Cory Sarich and Daymond Langkow registered third-period goals en route to a 3-2 win over Chicago.
“It’s a big boost for sure,” Iginla said after defeating the Panthers. “It feels great. Probably our last seven games, our habits have been getting a lot better and we’ve been playing a lot of games we felt we deserved to win and haven’t quite gotten the results. Tonight maybe feels like a little payback.”
Calgary is 3-2-2 in its last seven games despite not scoring more than three goals in any of them.
Iginla leads the Flames with 17 goals and 22 assists this season, but has only seven goals and eight assists on the road, where the Flames are 6-6-1. After being held without a point in his first four visits to Tampa Bay from 1997-99, Iginla has a goal and two assists in his last two regular-season games there.
He also had three goals and two assists during Calgary’s three wins over Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup finals. But Iginla was held without a point in his team’s four losses, and didn’t register a shot on goal in nearly 24 minutes of ice time during a 2-1 defeat in Game 7.
Tampa Bay (14-14-3) snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 3-2 shootout victory over Montreal on Tuesday. Brad Richards scored the decisive goal and Marc Denis made a toe save on Saku Koivu’s stuff attempt to preserve his first win in eight appearances - four starts - this season.
“I’ve found that if I go in with speed and doing something quick I have more success, and that’s all it is, there’s no secret,” said Richards, who has converted both his shootout attempts this season. “I go in and try to shoot, it’s pretty simple. I don’t have the hands to do a bunch of dipsy-doodle stuff.”
During the Lightning’s championship run, Richards won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP by leading the team with 14 assists and 26 points in 23 games. Richards scored seven game-winning goals in the 2004 postseason, including two against the Flames in Games 2 and 4.
Vincent Lecavalier, who leads the NHL with 46 points this season, has a goal and four assists in his last two regular-season games against Calgary. He scored the tying goal in the third period and assisted on Dan Boyle’s overtime tally in the Lightning’s 3-2 road win over the Flames on March 10, the last time these teams met.