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Iginla scores twice as Flames continue solid play

Nov 23, 2006 - 5:11 AM
CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- Jarome Iginla continues to be the mark of consistency for the red-hot Calgary Flames.

Iginla scored twice and Matt Lombardi and Tony Amonte added goals to lead the Flames to their seventh victory in eight games, a 4-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 2002 Art Ross Trophy winner, Iginla has points in 12 of his last 13 contests, collecting eight goals and nine assists during that stretch. His first-period tally helped spark the Flames to their fifth straight home win.

"I think the first period, the big push we had was a big part of it," Iginla said. "We know they were waiting for us and we played last night. Sometimes teams don't have the legs. Sometimes they do. We found a way, really all of us, to put the pressure on them."

Iginla took advantage of Radim Vrbata's hooking penalty to give Calgary an early lead at 7:38 of the opening session with a one-timer of Alex Tanguay's pass into the top left corner of the net.

"We were getting chances and we knew it was going to go in eventually," Tanguay said. "That shot was so hard, it must have almost gone through the net. It was nice to finally get a goal on the power play."

"I think they (Iginla and Tanguay) have been pretty good the last three or four games," Calgary coach Jim Playfair said. "I thought tonight ... they did a really good job of protecting pucks and maybe a little too much of finding each other, but that's what good players do. They work and they work through those things."

The Flames widened the lead with 5:03 left in the first period when Kristian Huselius made a steal in the Blackhawks' zone and made a cross-ice pass to Lombardi, who lifted the puck over goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin for his seventh tally of the season.

"We're playing unselfishly," Lombardi said. "(Tanguay) giving up the goal for Jarome is an unselfish play. (Huselius) did the same with me. Everyone thought he was going to shoot. Instead, he sent it over to me. I just had the easy play of putting it in the back of the net."

After Tuomo Ruutu halved the deficit for Chicago late in the first period, Amonte gave Calgary a 3-1 lead when he scored on a rebound of Byron Ritchie's shot inside the right goalpost.

"We have to make better plays out of our zone," Ruutu said. "We have to make better passes to our wingers and make sure our wingers make better passes out of our zone, and come with speed."

Iginla added an empty-net goal - his 11th tally of the season - and netminder Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves for the Flames, who have won seven of 10 home games.

Khabibulin turned aside 36 shots for the Blackhawks, who are 3-2-1 in their last six contests.

"I could always do better, I guess," Khabibulin said. "It doesn't matter what happens. You lose the game and it's disappointing. Now we have to recoup and try to win the next one."

"Compound penalties (and) you're going to take away momentum from yourself and sometimes, it takes a long time to get it back," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "Part of that came off of turnovers. We had the puck, turned it over and as a result, we had to reach out and take a penalty."






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