Relax, Flames fans: Jarome Iginla has found the net.
Iginla got his first goal of the new season by slamming home Alex Tanguay's pass 7:49 into the third period to break a tie and lead the Flames to a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Calgary's captain hadn't had a point in the team's first three games, two of which were shutout losses -- including a 4-0 loss at Edmonton on opening night. Dating back to last season, Iginla had no goals and 4 assists in his past 14 games.
He remedied that by firing home a perfect cross-crease pass from Alex Tanguay to put the Flames ahead to stay.
"It was a great pass by Tangs," said Iginla, who also had an assist. "Anyone could have put that one in."
Tanguay added an empty-netter for his second of the night.
"It feels like our most complete game of the year," Iginla said. "It's something we can build on."
The five goals were two more than the Flames produced in their first three games.
"Our tip two lines produced, and we needed that," said coach Brent Sutter, who changed around his pairings, putting Iginla and Tanguay with Matt Stajan.
Sutter was especially pleased that his team was able to get to the net and pressure Khabibulin all night after mounting little pressure for most of its first three games.
"To score goals at this level, you have to do it," he said. "Tonight there was a commitment to doing it."
The Oilers took the lead three times, but each time the Flames pulled even. The third time came 4:29 into the third period when Niclas Hagman fought off Shawn Horcoff, collected his own rebound and beat Nikolai Khabibulin, who stopped 46 shots.
Edmonton lost both games on a two-game trip after starting its season with two home wins. The Oilers are 2-22-2 in their last 26 road games dating back to December.
"I think we can play with anybody," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "We have to manage the puck very well, and we have to manage it in a mature way. We have to make sure we understand the value of getting to the blue paint ourselves, with or without the puck. We've got to get pucks to the net, and there's a price to be paid beyond that.
"We've got to embrace that and learn that real quick if we're going to stay with the group."
After Ales Hemsky and Tanguay scored in the first period, Calgary outshot Edmonton 18-15 in a wide open, back-and-forth second period.
The Oilers went ahead 2-1 just 22 seconds into the second on a lucky bounce for Dustin Penner, whose attempted one-timer of a bouncing centering pass from Sam Gagner was fluttering high and wide of the Flames net when it hit defenseman Ian White in the face and caromed into the net behind a stunned Kiprusoff.
White missed much of the period before returning with stitches above his right eye.
The Flames tied it 2-2 at 2:57 when Brendan Morrison beat Khabibulin, but Edmonton restored its advantage under two minutes later on rookie Magnus Paajarvi's first NHL goal. It was not ruled a goal originally, but video review confirmed the puck just crept over the line before being pulled out by Kiprusoff.
"I thought we deserved to win the game tonight," Morrison said. "I thought we outplayed them for most of the night. But it's a funny game -- they get a couple of bounces and get a couple of goals and they were in the lead. We battled through it, and I thought we did a good job tonight."
Material from team media was used in this report
|Ales Hemsky (2) ASST: Ryan Whitney (3), Magnus Paajarvi (1)|
1 - 0 EDM
|Alex Tanguay (1) ASST: Matt Stajan (1), Robyn Regehr (1)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Dustin Penner (3) ASST: Sam Gagner (4)|
2 - 1 EDM
|Brendan Morrison (1) ASST: Matt Stajan (2), Cory Sarich (1)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Magnus Paajarvi (1) ASST: Colin Fraser (1), Ryan Jones (1)|
3 - 2 EDM
|Niklas Hagman (2) ASST: Brendan Morrison (3), Olli Jokinen (1)|
3 - 3 Tie
|PPG - Jarome Iginla (1) ASST: Alex Tanguay (1), Mark Giordano (1)|
4 - 3 CGY
|EN - Alex Tanguay (2) ASST: Jarome Iginla (1), Matt Stajan (3)|
5 - 3 CGY
|Tim Jackman Elbowing against Ladislav Smid|
|Steve Staios Tripping against Andrew Cogliano|
|Gilbert Brule Slashing against Curtis Glencross|
|Tom Gilbert Tripping against Steve Staios|
|Brendan Morrison Boarding against Ladislav Smid|
|Jordan Eberle Hooking against Niklas Hagman|
|Tom Gilbert Interference against Matt Stajan|
|Curtis Glencross Cross checking against Tom Gilbert|
|Ladislav Smid Holding against Olli Jokinen|
|Ian White Hooking against Taylor Hall|