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Iginla's hat trick propels Flames past Wild

Mar 30, 2007 - 4:58 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Captain Jarome Iginla is intent on leading the Calgary Flames to a postseason berth.

Iginla recorded his fifth career hat trick and Daymond Langkow added a goal and an assist as the Flames extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-2 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Alex Tanguay set up a pair of tallies to raise his season assists total to a career-high 55 and Craig Conroy also had two assists for Calgary (42-25-10), which maintained its seven-point lead over Colorado (40-30-7) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with five games remaining.

"We want to close it out, we want to earn our playoff spot," Iginla said. "Colorado has been playing so well, but from our point of view, we've got it into a position where we can just win our games. We don't have to watch them."

The Flames struck first when Langkow deflected defenseman Brad Stuart's shot over the glove of goaltender Niklas Backstrom 62 seconds into the contest.

Just 18 seconds later, Iginla made it 2-0 with his 35th goal of the season, receiving a return pass from Tanguay and rifling a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past a screened Backstrom.

Backstrom, who entered with the league's best save percentage (.927) among eligible goaltenders, immediately was replaced by rookie Josh Harding after failing to make a save in 80 seconds of work.

"It was two minutes there, two goals," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We called the timeout, and in the timeout, I was thinking about taking Backstrom out of the game. I knew the team wasn't going well and I didn't want him to be back there if we weren't going to play better."

"We just weren't ready to start the game," Wild center Wes Walz said. "I mean, the first goal was a kind of a bad-luck thing, which sometimes can happen, but giving up a goal 15 to 20 seconds after that on a kind of broken play in the neutral zone, the guy made a great play to find Iginla on the back side, and boom, 2-0."

Minnesota halved the deficit midway through the first period on a power-play goal by defenseman Brent Burns. But Calgary answered with a man-advantage goal of its own with just 12 seconds left in the session, when Iginla converted a cross-crease pass from Langkow to give the Flames a 3-1 bulge.

"I thought Iginla, Tanguay and Conroy competed on both sides of the puck," Flames coach Jim Playfair said. "I thought they got pucks to the net."

A two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner, Iginla completed his first hat trick of the season just over five minutes into the third. After receiving a feed from Conroy, he beat Harding from the doorstep at 5:07 for his 21st career tally against Minnesota.

"Every time I get one, they feel good," Iginla said. "Tonight was a night where I got two tap-ins and one great cross-ice pass. It's been tough going in and I've had some chances to get hat tricks and haven't been able to, so it was nice."

Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 38 saves in a 1-0 shootout win here on Tuesday, turned aside 23 shots in this one.

"We were lucky to win the game on Tuesday, we knew that," Conroy said. "For whatever reason, the other night we were off, but Kipper played great and we were able to win. Tonight, I thought the team played really well."

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Kiprusoff has stopped 123 of the 127 shots he has faced during Calgary's winning streak.

Captain Mark Parrish also scored and Harding made 15 saves for the Wild (45-25-8), who remain tied with the idle Dallas Stars (46-24-6) and San Jose Sharks (47-26-4) for fifth place in the West.

"We wanted to come out and get to them as quick as we could," Parrish said. "It seems like they had the same game plan. They just executed."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 3 0 1 4
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 31 (BRAD STUART, MATTHEW LOMBARDI)
    1:02
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 35 (ALEX TANGUAY, CRAIG CONROY) 1:20
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32
    CGY - (PP) JAROME IGINLA 3

    Mar 29 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARK PARRISH 18 (KIM JOHNSSON, MIKKO KOIVU) 13:01

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    MINNESOTA 1
    3RD PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 37 (CRAIG CONROY, ALEX TANGUAY) 5:07

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 3 0 3
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 31 (BRAD STUART, MATTHEW LOMBARDI)
    1:02
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 35 (ALEX TANGUAY, CRAIG CONROY) 1:20
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32
    CGY - (PP) JA

    Mar 29 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 3 3
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 31 (BRAD STUART, MATTHEW LOMBARDI)
    1:02
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 35 (ALEX TANGUAY, CRAIG CONROY) 1:20
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32
    CGY - (PP) JA

    Mar 29 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 3 3
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 31 (BRAD STUART, MATTHEW LOMBARDI)
    1:02
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 35 (ALEX TANGUAY, CRAIG CONROY) 1:20
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32
    CGY - (PP) JA

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 2
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 35 (ALEX TANGUAY, CRAIG CONROY) 1:20

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 31 (BRAD STUART, MATTHEW LOMBARDI) 1:02

    Flames vs. WildMar 29 8:11 PM