The Calgary Flames’ stay atop the Northwest Division didn’t last long, but they’ll have an opportunity to inch closer to the top spot when they face the rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in their final home game of the regular season.
Calgary (40-27-10), which hasn’t won the Northwest title since 2005-06, was able to temporarily capture the division lead with a 3-2 home victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night.
“We just kept coming,” said Iginla, who has nine goals and five assists in his last nine games. “We didn’t get discouraged, nobody got frustrated on the bench. We felt like we were going to find a way to get ourselves back in the game.”
The victory helped Calgary pass Minnesota in the division, but while the Flames haven’t played since then, the Wild have won twice to build a three-point advantage on both Calgary and Colorado in the Northwest.
Calgary can get to within one point of the lead with both Minnesota and Colorado idle until their matchup on Sunday.
The Flames, who have five games remaining, are closing in on securing their fourth straight postseason berth. They are currently in a three-way tie for fifth in the Western Conference, six points ahead of 10th-place Edmonton (39-34-6).
The Flames have won seven of their last nine at Pengrowth Saddledome, reeling off four straight victories there for their longest home winning streak since an eight-game run from Jan. 4-Feb. 3, 2007.
They’re hoping to extend that success behind Miikka Kiprusoff, who won an NHL-leading 28 home games last season. He made 32 saves on Tuesday to improve to 7-0-2 with two shutouts and a 1.76 goals-against average in his last nine starts in Calgary.
Kiprusoff is 3-2-0 with a 1.81 GAA in five starts against the Oilers this season, leading the Flames to victory in two of three home games, including a 4-1 decision on Feb. 9 in the most recent contest.
Kiprusoff is 9-2-1 with a tie, a shutout and a 1.67 GAA in 13 all-time home games versus Edmonton, which has split the six-game series with the Flames.
The Oilers dropped the second contest on their three-game road trip Friday, 5-4 in a shootout at Colorado.
Tom Gilbert had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who hope to avoid their first three-game losing streak since Feb. 16-22.
Edmonton also fell two points behind Nashville and Vancouver for the eighth and final postseason spot in the West. The Oilers have three games left to reach the playoffs for the eighth time in 11 seasons.
“There is not much we can do, we have to prepare for another game, and quickly, too,” defenseman Steve Staios said. “Maybe that is a good thing. We played a hard-fought, tough game (Friday), and it’s disappointing, but it is up to everyone in here to pick ourselves up and be ready for tomorrow.”
Dwayne Roloson, who made 32 saves on Friday, stopped 30 shots in a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Oct. 20 - his lone appearance of the season against his former team.
Roloson - 5-2-1 with a 3.20 GAA in his last eight overall starts - is 2-8-0 with three ties, one shutout and a 2.58 GAA in 13 visits to Calgary.