Wild
Flames
4 - 5 Final
  for this game

Iginla's hat trick helps Flames edge Wild

Mar 23, 2008 - 6:31 AM
CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- Benoit Pouliot was in line to be the hero of the game. That was before Jarome Iginla decided to take over.

Iginla recorded a natural hat trick and fellow All-Star Dion Phaneuf added a goal and two assists as the Calgary Flames held on for a 5-4 triumph over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Matthew Lombardi also scored and defenseman Anders Eriksson recorded a pair of assists for the Flames (39-26-10), who improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight home games and climbed within one point of the Wild (40-27-9) for first place in the Northwest Division.

"The biggest thing was about the win," Iginla said. "That's what it's about. ... We've played 75 games or so, and it comes down to this. You can see, physically, the games have gotten harder."

"It's a big game for our team, and we knew that coming in," Phaneuf added. "It was the biggest game of the year for our team, and I'm sure (Minnesota) would have said the same thing."

Pouliot and blue-liner Kim Johnsson each netted two goals for Minnesota, which fell to 1-5-1 against Calgary this season but scored more than three tallies for the first time in 17 contests.

"It was good for myself to score, but we missed a couple of goals to win the game," Pouliot said. "It's going to be a tough run. We've got seven or eight games. We'll see what happens."

After a scoreless first period, Phaneuf gave Calgary the lead three minutes into the second with a great individual effort.

With the Flames shorthanded, the defenseman gained control of the puck along the left wing boards deep in his own zone, carried past a pair of Minnesota players near center ice and got by Johnsson in the offensive end before flicking a shot past goaltender Josh Harding with one hand on his stick.

"Luckily, it went in," Phaneuf said. "I saw (Harding) went down. I was falling and the puck was kind of rolling, and (I) just tried to pop it over."

"That was incredibly impressive," Iginla said. "The speed for him to create a break for himself, and then do it one-handed. That was the biggest goal of the game. Everybody on the bench was, 'Wow.' What do you say? You don't see that very often."

However, Pouliot grabbed the spotlight later in the period with his first two career goals.

Drafted fourth overall in 2005, the 21-year-old drove down the right wing before putting a backhander past netminder Miikka Kiprusoff from low in the right faceoff circle with 6:48 remaining. Just 5:12 later, Pouliot unleashed a shot that went in off the crossbar, giving Minnesota a 2-1 edge.

"It was a pretty lucky goal, but we'll take it, obviously," Pouliot said of his first tally. "The second was a great pass by (Pierre-Marc) Bouchard. I got lucky on the (crossbar), I guess. I wasn't too sure at first if it was in."

That's when the Flames turned to their captain, and Iginla did not disappoint.

With 23 seconds to go in the middle period, the two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner backhanded a rebound past Harding from the doorstep to knot the contest. Just 50 seconds into the third, Iginla received a pass from the top of the left circle by Alex Tanguay and beat Harding to the glove side with a shot from the slot, putting Calgary ahead, 3-2.

"Thankfully, pucks have been going in," Iginla said. "Tonight, I just tried to move to the net and shoot. I got some good passes and some good breaks. This time of year, each guy tries to prepare and think about what he tries to bring to help the team. I've got to go to the net and shoot pucks and try to put them in."

Iginla completed his second hat trick of the season and seventh career at 6:37, burying a rebound from low in the right circle for his 48th of the season.

Even Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire was impressed with Iginla's performance.

"He's the man," Lemaire said. "When he's around the net, he's dangerous. We let him go to the net alone. He gets a rebound, he puts it in. He's right in front of the net and nobody goes in and makes an effort to check him. I guess they don't know he's got 48 goals.

"He's a guy that you have to check. It's that simple. We just have to play him better."

Johnsson got the Wild back within one at 10:07, when he pinched from the right point and converted a pass from behind the net by Pavol Demitra. But Lombardi drilled a shot from the top of the left circle between Harding's pads with 1:42 left, restoring Calgary's two-goal advantage.

With 55 seconds to go, Johnsson again cut the deficit to one with a blast from the left circle. But the Wild were unable to record another shot against Kiprusoff, who made 29 saves, and fell to 3-3-4 in their last 10 games.

"The intensity level was turned up at both ends of the ice surface, which was demonstrated by Minnesota," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "They pushed right to the very last shift, and you're going to see that from here on in. This is playoff hockey.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 2 2 4
    CALGARY 0 2 3 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 1 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 3:12
    CGY - (SH) DION PHANEUF 16 (UNASSISTED) 15:39
    MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 2 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, NICK SCHULTZ)
    18:24
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 46 (DION PHANEUF, J

    Mar 23 12:40 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 4
    CALGARY 5
    3RD PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 11 (MARIAN GABORIK) 19:05

    Wild 4, Flames 5  3rd - 0:55Mar 23 12:40 AM
  • 27
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 4, Flames 5  3rd - 0:55Mar 23 12:40 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    CALGARY 5
    3RD PRD: CGY - MATTHEW LOMBARDI 12 (STEPHANE YELLE) 18:18

    Wild 3, Flames 5  3rd - 1:42Mar 23 12:36 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    CALGARY 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - KIM JOHNSSON 3 (PAVOL DEMITRA, MARIAN GABORIK) 10:07

    Wild 3, Flames 4  3rd - 9:53Mar 23 12:30 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    CALGARY 4
    3RD PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 48 (DION PHANEUF, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 6:47

    Wild 2, Flames 4  3rd - 13:13Mar 23 12:14 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    CALGARY 3
    3RD PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 47 (ALEX TANGUAY, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 0:50

    Wild 2, Flames 3  3rd - 19:10Mar 23 12:03 AM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 2 2
    CALGARY 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 1 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 3:12
    CGY - (SH) DION PHANEUF 16 (UNASSISTED) 15:39
    MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 2 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, NICK SCHULTZ)
    18:24
    CGY - JAROME

    Wild 2, Flames 2  End of 2ndMar 22 11:57 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 2 2
    CALGARY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 1 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 3:12
    CGY - (SH) DION PHANEUF 16 (UNASSISTED) 15:39
    MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 2 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, NICK SCHULTZ)
    18:24
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Mar 22 11:44 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    CALGARY 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 2 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, NICK SCHULTZ)
    18:24

    Wild 2, Flames 1  2nd - 1:36Mar 22 11:41 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    CALGARY 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - BENOIT POULIOT 1 (UNASSISTED) 3:12

    Wild 1, Flames 1  2nd - 16:48Mar 22 11:30 PM
  • 10
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Wild 0, Flames 1  2nd - 4:21Mar 22 11:12 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    CALGARY 1
    2ND PRD: CGY - (SH) DION PHANEUF 16 (UNASSISTED) 15:39

    Wild 0, Flames 1  2nd - 4:21Mar 22 11:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    CALGARY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 10 10
    CGY 10 10
    GOALIES: MIN - JOSH HARDING
    CGY - MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

    Mar 22 10:48 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Flyboy Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. FlamesMar 21 2:57 PM