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 that.”
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 everyone.”
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.