CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—After watching his team’s 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla took it upon himself to shift the momentum back toward the Flames.
Iginla had a hand in the next four Flames goals—scoring two and assisting on the others—to lead Calgary past the San Jose Sharks 7-4 on Saturday night.
“That was a really good game for us to win,” Iginla said.
Daymond Langkow also scored twice for the Flames, who tied Minnesota for second place in the Northwest Division—three points behind Vancouver. Dion Phaneuf, Matthew Lombardi and Marcus Nilson had the other goals for Calgary in a back-and-forth game.
The Flames improved the NHL’s best home record to 25-6-1 by beating the top road team in the league. Calgary, which has lost seven straight away from home, is 11-1-1 in its last 13 games at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
“Obviously, we’re not playing the way we’d like to on the road, so it’s important that we keep playing strong at home where we’ve been a confident bunch all year,” said Alex Tanguay, who had three assists.
Iginla put the Flames up 5-4 just 34 seconds into the third period. Craig Conroy flipped the puck high in the air and into the San Jose zone. Tanguay outraced Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray to the loose puck, stopped, and then fed a perfect pass to Iginla trailing in the slot. He one-timed his 30th of the season past Evgeni Nabokov.
The goal was Iginla’s 315th, moving him past Joe Nieuwendyk into second place on the Flames’ career list. The leader is Theoren Fleury (364).
Calgary led 2-0 after 20 minutes, but that lead evaporated in a wild second period in which the Flames allowed four goals in a period for the first time all season.
Carle got the Sharks going with a power-play goal at 4:36. Only 66 seconds later, Grier slid a backhand pass to the front of the net that was jammed in by Pavelski, tying it at 2.
San Jose took its first lead at 15:11 when Phaneuf mishandled the puck at the Sharks’ blue line and Grier raced away on a breakaway to score his third short-handed goal with a nifty deke to his backhand.
The Flames, however, took just 8 seconds to answer back.
Off the ensuing faceoff, Langkow whacked the puck forward into the Sharks’ corner. Rookie defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s clearing attempt up the boards was kept in by Roman Hamrlik, whose shot was deflected by Iginla in front.
San Jose took its second lead of the period at 18:56 when McLaren gloved Hamrlik’s clearing attempt and ripped a slap shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.
Again, Calgary answered right back—this time waiting just 31 seconds. Iginla’s pass sent Lombardi speeding down the wing and he whipped a shot inside the far post.
“Sometimes when things aren’t going well and they get a couple quick ones, you kind of sink. But we stuck with it and we worked our way out of it,” Iginla said. “It was pretty cool to see us score twice right after they scored. Those were huge momentum boosts.”
Just more than two minutes after Phaneuf opened the scoring, Langkow put the Flames up 2-0 by neatly tucking the puck inside the post after Nabokov couldn’t control a rebound on Lombardi’s wrist shot.
“Nabby had a tough night, a couple of our defensemen did as well, and (Patrick Marleau’s) line—they were a total non-factor. They were struggling just to dump the puck in,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “We had a lot of people battling hard and to come back the way we did, we certainly deserved better.”
Phaneuf gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 5:26 of the first when the Flames’ surging power play converted its first opportunity of the night.
From the side boards, Kristian Huselius threaded a pass across the ice to Phaneuf breaking in on the other side. The defenseman snapped a shot into the top corner for his 16th goal of the season and team-leading 12th on the power play.
Calgary finished 2-for-4 with the extra man.
Ranked 24th in the NHL on the power play on Feb. 2, Calgary has gone 19-for-62 in 12 games since, a 30.6 percent efficiency that has moved the Flames into the league’s top 10.
San Jose’s top-ranked power play went 1-for-7.
“It’s definitely a game that we felt like we should have at least got a point out of,” Grier said. “We went up 3-2 and then again 4-3, but we gave up the goals within 10 seconds afterwards and then in the last minute of the period. Those situations shouldn’t happen and even the go-ahead goal in the first minute of the third period, we’ve got to be smarter as a team.”
Iginla’s first goal was his 100th career power-play goal. … Langkow’s two goals gave him 62 points, tying his career high set in 2001-02 with Phoenix. … Conroy (elbow) returned after missing one game. … Calgary rookie David Moss missed his third game due to cuts on his face but is expected back as soon as Monday. … Marleau played in his 700th game. He is the Sharks’ career leader in games played.