CALGARY -- With the infirmary growing on a seemingly daily basis, Calgary Flames
captain Jarome Iginla
put a call out to anyone within earshot about needing someone to step up and seize the opportunity in front of them.
But just like old times, it was Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff
who provided the damage.
Iginla scored the shootout winner and Kiprusoff stopped 29 shots as the Flames recovered from surrendering a two-goal lead to lift Calgary to a 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks
at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
The win was Calgary's first at home against Vancouver since Oct. 16, 2009.
"It's been a while for sure," Iginla said. "From our point of view we've played some of the top teams very well and that's something we've taken pride in. We're going to need to. We're going to try to keep moving up the standings. The injury bug hit but guys are stepping in."
Iginla did the stepping in the shootout, feeding Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo
several fakes before sliding into a virtually empty net. At the other end, Kiprusoff stopped Mason Raymond
to secure the victory and snap Vancouver's five-game winning streak in Calgary.
"I've shot against him the last couple times so I was thinking deke at that point," Iginla said. "I was just trying to sell it. When you get in there you have a few moves over time you go to and you either stop up or go to backhand. Fortunately tonight, I chose the right one and it went in and I was happy to see."
The loss also denied the Canucks of six straight wins on the road, but the shootout allowed Vancouver to take seven of eight points on their four-game road swing.
"Long four games and pretty tough games, too," Alexandre Burrows
said. "Overall we're happy. It's always nice to get that many points. It stings a little bit that last one. It would've been nice to get it done but we'll take that and we'll get ready for the homestand."
The game was pushed to a shootout thanks to David Booth
, who evened the game at 8:04 of the third. After Dan Hamhuis
' shot was blocked, the puck skipped over to the stick of Booth, who buried it between the legs of Kiprusoff.
After being tested several more times, both Kiprusoff and Luongo were tested with just over two minutes left. Kiprusoff kicked a toe-save rebound into the slot to Alex Tanguay
, who sprung Iginla on a breakaway. Luongo stared down Iginla, robbing him with a spectacular glove save. The pair of saves forced extra time and set the stage for Iginla's heroics.
"It was nice to get another chance," Iginla said. "I sure would've liked to get the first one go in. I was hoping to go high and kind of missed it."
The Flames required Kiprusoff's heroics early, too.
Inspired by their winning ways in Calgary in which Vancouver has outscored the Flames 24-9, the Canucks jumped out of first period and peppered Kiprusoff with several quality chances before the Flames could muster a puck on the Vancouver net.
Finally landing a puck on Luongo at 11:17, the momentum tilted in Calgary's favor.
With Michael Cammalleri
in the slot later in the period, the Flames finally broke through Luongo. Parked on the edge of the crease, Cammalleri took a centering feed from Blake Comeau
that he couldn't convert. The rebound bounced up and off Cammalleri and into the net with just 2:37 remaining to give the Flames a 1-0 edge after 20 minutes.
The Flames added to their lead just 2:41 into the second period. With the puck behind the Canucks' net, Lance Bouma
caught Luongo looking over the wrong shoulder and fed a pass in front to Roman Horak
, who put it over the Vancouver goalie to make it 2-0.
Then the Canucks flipped the switch, allowing just one shot against in the final 15 minutes of the period.
With Tanguay in the box for boarding, the Canucks forced Kiprusoff to bring his best. First, he made a glove save off a blast through a screen, corralling the rebound before the ensuing scramble could put across the goal line. He then denied Ryan Kesler
on a rebound attempt in the next sequence, before getting some help from the goal post on a Hamhuis rocket from the point.
"We know against that team we cannot take too many penalties," Kiprusoff said. "They use their chances really well. In that one power play in the second they hit the post three or four times – a little lucky there."
Vancouver was finally able to solve Kiprusoff with 2:05 remaining. The Flames goalie made the initial stop on Mike Duco
, but Cody Hodgson
was able to chip the rebound over Kiprusoff's shoulder to cut the lead to 2-1 after two periods, setting the stage for Booth's tying goal in the third.
Hodgson and Booth would be the only two to solve Kiprusoff, who came up largest in the third. Kiprusoff kicked out 11 saves, many of the highlight-reel variety.
"I played here one year before and played against him for years, but I don't know if anyone is playing as well as he is right now," Cammalleri said. "He's in the zone as they say in sports and we like him there."
If there was one cloud to rain on Calgary's day, it was the loss of forward Mikael Backlund
in the second period. Backlund left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. His injury comes with five Flames already on the injured reserve list.
"Every team deals with it every season," Cammalleri said. "It is what it is. It is non-constructive for us to worry about it. We'll come in and whoever is in the lineup next game has to win a game."