The word "slump" won't be applied to Jarome Iginla any time soon. The Calgary Flames captain was on fire during the team's 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
|Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla celebrates his goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal) |
The Flames captain had four points on the night, scoring two goals and picking up two helpers.
"I have been feeling a lot better in the last four or so games," said Iginla. "We're getting sharper, putting more pucks on net."
Iginla humbly deflected praise after the game.
"Cammy's flying, Conny's been playing great. As a line, it's been good."
After only scoring two goals in 17 games, Iginla has bounced back to garner eight points in his last five contests.
"I think I'm relaxed more. You start pressing and you don't move as quickly," Iginla said of breaking out of the slump. "I'm playing with more confidence."
He's now a mere three points away from becoming the Flames all-time point leader. Theoren Fleury holds the position now with 830 points.
"It's special," Iginla told the media after the game. "Thankfully I've been blessed. It's great."
Iginla got the game off to a good start with a goal only 45 seconds into the game. It was an easy tap-in for the captain as Craig Conroy snapped a shot on the rookie Steve Mason, Mike Cammalleri picked up the bouncing puck and passed it over a waiting Iginla. Mason was on the other side of the net, still stuck from Conroy's shot so Iginla had the open net.
"I got a wide open net last game so I'm getting some good breaks," Iginla chuckled.
It was the captain's 23rd of the season and his second goal in two straight games. He scored the Flames first of the night against Edmonton on Saturday.
Cammalleri credited the Flames quick start as a confidence boost.
"On the first shift, if you score one, it does a lot for the team. It does a lot for the guys on the ice. You feel good about, you get rolling and confidence is a big part of our game. It's nice to get one on the first shift. It doesn't happen all that often."
The boo birds came out as soon as former Flames Kristian Huselius touched the puck. Since becoming a member of the Blue Jackets, Huselius has tallied 18 goals and 43 points. It was his first time back at the Saddledome as he was hampered with a lacerated hand when Columbus visited on Jan. 21.
As the first period came to a close, Iginla had 8:52 of ice time - the most minutes from both either team. He also led the Flames in shots on goal with three.
The Flames came alive in the second frame, scoring two power play goals. Dion Phaneuf netted his eighth of the season and Cammalleri reached the 30 goal mark on the two goals. Iginla assisted on both tallies.
The Blue Jackets penalty kill is ranked 16th in the league.
The second period troubles didn't stop for the Blue Jackets. They showed why their power play is ranked dead last in the NHL when they were unable to generate any offense against the potent Flames penalty kill. Robyn Regehr, Iginla and Phaneuf were sent to the sin bin in the second frame.
The Flames record when leading after two periods is now 20-0-3.
The final period saw Iginla pick up his forth point of the net with an empty netter. Curtis Glencross selflessly passed up an opportunity to score while in the neutral zone and passed it over to Iginla. Conroy assisted on the Flames forth of the night.
After the game, Iginla's teammates praised their captian for his strong performance.
"He just sees the ice well," said Adrian Aucoin. "Iggy is one of those guys that seems like when guys come after him, he does better. They have a hard forecheck and Iggy seems to like that a lot."
Due to injuries to Daymond Langkow, Mark Giordano, Andre Roy and Rene Bourque, Jamie Lundmark and Kyle Greentree were recalled from Quad City. Both played in Saturday's win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Lundmark picked up his first point since being recalled. He assisted on Cammalleri's power play goal in the second. He now has three point in two stints with the Flames this season.
Greentree had eight shifts and 5:12 of ice time. He registered a shot on net and had a -1 rating on the night.
The game also marked Eric Nystrom's 100th career games. He was Calgary's 1st round, 10th overall, pick in the 2002 draft. During his time with the Flames he's scored six goals and has 18 points.