"This was a huge game for us and everyone was ready," Iginla said Saturday night. "From the opening face off, we started to hit and play sound, defensive hockey. Everyone knows what's at stake now and played well."
And that starts with Iginla, who scored twice to lift the Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. With the goals, Iginla reached 40 goals for the third time and tied Theoren Fleury for the most goals in franchise history with 364.
Kristian Huselius added three assists in his second three-point game of the season, and Rhett Warrener scored for Calgary, which stopped a two-game skid after a four-game winning streak. The Flames limited the Coyotes to 17 shots as Curtis Joseph needed to make just 16 saves.
"We initiated play early," Calgary coach Mike Kennan said. "I thought we had a real strong first period, and that's what we're trying to get our team to understand. If we play well early, we're going to have more success."
Shane Doan scored the only goal for Phoenix, which has lost two of three.
As strong as Calgary played in the opening 20 minutes, the Coyotes did not respond. The collective result immediately caught the attention of coach Wayne Gretzky.
"Work ethic and effort was not there in the first 10 minutes of the hockey game," he said. "Without matching their effort, you're not going to win against a team as good and as hungry as Calgary."
The Flames came up with two goals on their first four shots. Warrener scored his first goal of the season when his shot from the right point eluded Ilya Bryzgalov just 1:23 into the game. The goal was set by Iginla, who put a pass up the right wing boards onto Warrener's stick.
Iginla then picked up a power-play goal, his 39th goal of the season, when his slap shot from the left face off circle got behind Bryzgalov at 5:46 of the first period. He added his second of the night and 40th of the season at 11:19 of the third period.
Calgary limited Phoenix to just six shots on goal in the opening period and no serious scoring opportunities.
The Coyotes cut the lead at 12:02 when Doan, skating out of the corner to the left of the crease, slapped the puck behind Joseph while going down. It was Doan's 20th of the season, his eighth consecutive 20-plus goal season.
Coming down to the final weeks of the season, and with playoff positions at stake, Doan thinks the Coyotes need to take on a greater sense of urgency.
"We have to be a little hungrier," he said. "Overall, we need to play harder. From a team standpoint, we must put more pressure on the puck and create turnovers."
Notes: Calgary's Cory Sarich, a healthy scratch, had his consecutive games streak stopped at 453. ... Huselius' three-point game was his first multiscoring effort since a three-point effort against Los Angeles on Jan. 5. ... Warrener's goal was his first since Dec. 7, 2006. ... With his goal, Doan moved into fourth place in franchise scoring points with 535. ... Attendance was 17,529, the seventh time Phoenix surpassed the 17,000 mark in 33 home games.
|Rhett Warrener (1) ASST: Kristian Huselius (36), Jarome Iginla (39)|
1 - 0 CGY
|PPG - Jarome Iginla (39) ASST: Kristian Huselius (37), Daymond Langkow (31)|
2 - 0 CGY
|Shane Doan (20) ASST: Martin Hanzal (22)|
2 - 1 CGY
|Jarome Iginla (40) ASST: Kristian Huselius (38)|
3 - 1 CGY
|Power Play %||12.9%||15.7%|
|% on Road||15.8%||19.2%|
|% at Home||9.4%||10.8%|
|Matt Jones Hooking against Jarome Iginla|
|Robyn Regehr Hi-sticking against Radim Vrbata|
|Nick Boynton Interference against Eric Nystrom|
|Jarome Iginla Interference on goalkeeper against Ilya Bryzgalov|
|Keith Ballard Interference against Jarome Iginla|
|Zbynek Michalek Hi-sticking against Eric Nystrom|
|David Hale Hooking against Marcel Hossa|
|Zbynek Michalek Hooking against Mark Smith|
|Mathias Tjarnqvist Hi stick - double minor against Adrian Aucoin|
|Matthew Lombardi Cross checking against Keith Ballard|