CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—The Calgary Flames have a new franchise leader in goals.
“It’s a really good feeling,” said Iginla, who also had two assists. “A nice one-time pass from ‘Juice’ and I got a break with it going off of their guy’s backside and in. I’ll take them all.”
Iginla’s 41st goal of the season gave Calgary a 3-1 lead and was greeted with chants of “Iggy! Iggy!” from the sellout crowd of 19,289 at Pengrowth Saddledome.
“I was definitely happy to get it at home and to get it in a win,” Iginla said. “I have a lot of good memories here, my first goal was here in the playoffs (in 1996). Time flies.”
The 30-year-old Iginla has spent all 11 of his NHL seasons with the Flames. He ranks third in points (743) and was already the franchise leader in games played (847).
“Getting a chance to play in Calgary as long as I have, to be a part of any of the team’s records is a huge thrill,” Iginla said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate and blessed and it’s been so much fun and I want to keep going.”
“It’s frustrating, we had such a great start and we’ve been pretty much pissing it away in the last two months,” said Legace, who was pulled after the first period having given up three goals on 11 shots.
He admitted he was stunned when goaltending coach Rick Walmsley told him he wasn’t going out to start the second period and that Hannu Toivonen was taking over.
“It was shocking, three goals were deflected off my defensemen,” Legace said. “You can’t do much when it goes off your defensemen.”
Toivonen didn’t fare much better, giving up three goals on 18 shots.
Calgary now heads out on a four-game road trip as the leader in the Northwest Division. A 7-1-2 run has them one point up on Minnesota and two ahead of Colorado.
“We’ve got to stick with it,” Lombardi said. “It’s going to be a really tough schedule coming up but besides this road trip, we’re playing mostly division teams so it’s in our hands and we can control it, which is nice.”
Clinging to a 3-2 lead against the Blues, Calgary got a pivotal goal at 9:02 of the second period when Lombardi scored his 11th of the season while short-handed. The speedy Flames’ center broke in alone on Hannu Toivonen and neatly tucked the puck into the net with one hand as he cut across the crease.
Kiprusoff made 29 saves for the Flames to improve to 34-20-10. His most timely save came in the opening moments of the second period when he stopped Ryan Johnson on a short-handed breakaway after a turnover at the St. Louis blueline by Adrian Aucoin.
Boyes scored his first of the night shortly after to pull St. Louis to 3-2.
Calgary got off to an uncharacteristic fast start when Tanguay darted into the Blues zone and wristed a shot into the top corner to give the Flames the lead after just 21 seconds. Huselius made it 2-0 at 7:13 before Backes one-timed in Andy McDonald’s pass for a power-play goal at 9:06.
Calgary’s three-goal first period marked the first time since Dec. 13 the Flames scored that many in the opening period, and only the third time all season. Calgary blew the game open in the third period when Nilson and Langkow scored 65 seconds apart to increase the lead to 6-2.
Down 6-3, Blues coach Andy Murray pulled Toivonen for an extra skater with over 5 minutes remaining and St. Louis on a power play. However, the move backfired as Tanguay scored into the empty net for his second of the game.
Fleury, who lives in Calgary, was not in attendance at the game. However, the Flames showed a short prerecorded congratulatory message on the jumbotron that concluded with Fleury smiling and saying, “See you at 500.” … Huselius’ goal was his first in 21 games, and Lombardi scored for the first time in 20 games. … Blues C Keith Tkachuk missed the game due to a shoulder injury. … The seven goals were a season-high for the Flames.