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The Calgary Flames have been one of the NHL's most successful teams at home this season, but when they host the Dallas Stars on Saturday, they will be without captain and leading scorer Jarome Iginla.
The Flames (20-15-4) improved to 15-5-0 at home this season with a 5-4 overtime win over Florida on Thursday. The victory, though, proved costly as Iginla left in the second period with a sprained ligament in his left knee that stemmed from a scuffle with Panthers defenseman Bryan Allen.
Iginla, who leads the Flames with 23 goals and 30 assists, was retaliating for a hard hit on teammate Chuck Kobasew earlier in the game. The right wing served a fighting major and did not appear hurt, but after he exited the penalty box, went to the Flames' dressing room and did not return.
Iginla will be sidelined for at least a week.
"There are different leaders and different warriors in this league and when you have a guy that's third or fourth in the league in scoring and he's stepping up and fighting for his team, that shows his character," Flames goaltender Jamie McLennan said.
Losing Iginla could affect the Flames' success at home. He scored in the opening minutes of Thursday's game and has three goals and five assists over the last four games at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Iginla 15 goals and 18 assists at home this season.
"It's tough to fill a guy's spot, a guy like Jarome, but the guys did a great job of stepping up in the last five minutes and it continued into overtime," said defenseman Mark Giordano, who scored 4:30 into the extra session.
The Stars (26-15-1) almost suffered an embarrassing loss on Thursday.
Dallas rallied from a 4-1 deficit with four unanswered goals, but needed a shootout to beat Edmonton 6-5 after the Oilers scored the tying goal with two seconds left in regulation following a bizarre gaffe by Stars forward Patrik Stefan.
The tying goal came just moments after Stefan lost control of the puck in the Edmonton crease, with the Oilers net empty in favor of an extra attacker.
"They may show it a million times for years to come," joked Stefan. "I mean, we came out with the two points so it's easy to laugh about it right now.
"It's not like I missed the net, I saw it was bad ice and I had so much time so I just tried to carry it all the way to the net. As soon as I put it on my back hand it jumped over my stick. Not much I can do about that."
Philippe Boucher and Jere Lehtinen both scored for Dallas on Thursday to continue their recent strong play. Boucher has two goals and five assists in his last eight games, while Lehtinen has four goals and three assists in his last seven contests.
Calgary has won two of the last three meetings with Dallas after winning just once in the previous 11 matchups in the series.