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Ending the year with a bang

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Late last week, Calgary Flames captain scored his 1000th career point to make him just the 77th player in NHL history to achieve that feat.

On Wednesday night, he added yet another incredible milestone to his resume when he potted his 40th goal of the season. The 33 year-old now has four seasons with 40+ goals to his name, something that his teammates could only shake their head in wonder at.

"He's been unreal," Mark Giordano said. "Just unreal."

Newest linemate Mikael Backlund echoed that admiration.

"He is great. A lot of goals and a lot of points and really working hard for us. He's a great player and a great leader and it's good playing with him and having him on my team.

"He's really a role model to look up to."

Iginla notched two more goals afterwards, getting his 12th career hat trick and his second this season.

Ever modest, Iginla deflected praise after the game to Miikka Kiprusoff, who added career win 262, tying a franchise record.

"It feels good tonight to see Kip tie the record for being the winningest goalie in Flames franchise history is big."

The captain's 40th of the campaign came just past the midway point of the second period. With the Flames holding court in the Oilers zone, they cycled the puck around and Iginla was able to get in the slot unattended. He shifted over towards the faceoff circle as Backlund deftly dished the puck over to Iginla and he sent his patented wrister into the back of the net.

His second goal of the evening came just over three minutes later when he sent a one-timer from the same faceoff circle past Nikolai Khabibulan.

Iginla's 42nd of the season came at 6:47 of the third period. Alex Tanguay put the puck on net and Khabibulan couldn't corral the rebound. Iginla bounded in and back-handed it over the sprawling netminder.

While he appreciates the praise he's getting, Iginla said earlier in the week that he doesn't focus too much on any milestones.

"To be honest, you wake up today, you come to practice, you get ready for tomorrow. I really do appreciate hitting (milestones) ... but it's something to look back on after (my career) or even at the end of the season."

Prior to the game the Flames Foundation for Life presented Iginla with a cheque for $100,000 for him to distribute to charities of his choice. The presentation, made at ice level by Flames great and Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald, was nearly drowned out by the huge apllause and standing ovation from the Flames faithful at the Saddledome.

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