Iginla, Flames rally to beat Jackets in shootout
Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 10:12 PM
Back on Dec. 1, Columbus captain Rick Nash
scored late in regulation and again in the shootout to beat Calgary, 4-3, for the second time this season.
On Tuesday night, Calgary – along with captain Jarome Iginla
– exacted very specific revenge.
Iginla tied the game early in the third period then netted in the shootout, Miikka Kiprusoff
made 27 saves and Calgary skated off the Nationwide Arena ice with a 2-1 win. The win marked Calgary's first shootout victory of the season and snapped Columbus' streak of three straight shootout wins.
Iginla – who rarely participates in shootouts despite his scoring prowess – faked twice on his penalty-shot approach, and the second proved fatal for Columbus goalie Steve Mason
. Iginla's heavy feint left made Mason lurch to his right, and Iginla slotted home over his left pad for the only goal in the shootout.
"I don't think I shot many last year, or wasn't successful," Iginla said. "It's been a while. It just feels good to get the fourth win in a row, to get a comeback in the third period in a tight game."
Calgary (18-15-4) may have never seen extra time had it not been for some critical second-period saves from Kiprusoff, a period that included four Jackets power plays. In the second of those, a Nash blast forced Kiprusoff to dive across the crease for a highlight-reel blocker save.
Kiprusoff has now won three in a row, and boasts a .955 save percentage over that stretch.
"We got a huge effort from Kiprusoff," Flames forward Blake Comeau
said. "He kept us in it the whole way. Jarome scored a big goal in the third. The game wasn't pretty, but when you're in a race like we are, you'll take two points any way you can get 'em."
The Flames have now won four in a row, including the first two of a season-long, seven-game road trip while Scotiabank Saddledome plays host to the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Columbus (9-23-4) lost their sixth straight overall and League-leading seventh game when leading after two periods. The Blue Jackets again peppered the goal and controlled the play for stretches, but ultimately had only Derick Brassard
's fourth goal of the season to show for it. Mason made 25 saves.
"The third period was pretty good. We did a lot of good things," Jackets coach Scott Arniel said of his team, which has won just seven of its last 29 home games. "They were a little bit fresher team than we were. But we did a real good job of not giving up much and we created a couple of chances."
The Jackets scored their only goal at 12:02 of the second, just seconds after the Flames' Mikael Backlund
returned to the ice from a hooking penalty. Rookie Ryan Johansen
ripped one from left of the slot that bounced off Kiprusoff. The rebound caromed to Mark Letestu
, who – skating away from goal – pushed it out to Brassard.
The center, who has come on strong of late after being frequently scratched early in the season, slammed high between Kiprusoff’s left shoulder and the near post.
The first time Iginla beat Mason, it came after Olli Jokinen
had carried the puck through the slot and past the goalmouth, carrying two Jackets with him. Iginla skated into the open space in front of net, corralled the puck just in time to slip it past the goalie at 3:06 of the third.
With the goal, Iginla is now the Calgary franchise leader for points against Columbus. The captain now has 49 points in 43 career games against the Blue Jackets.
"We found a way," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. "Kipper was obviously huge for us. He played outstanding. Jarome got a big power-play goal. Obviously, to win it in a shootout, it's a big win."