Just 24 hours after being spanked 5-0 by the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, the Flames were happy for the quick turnaround. Kinda like throwing out the bath water and starting all over again.
"You throw it out. We have a chance to redeem ourselves," said captain Jarome Iginla prior to the game. "A lot of teams have had bad games. Every team has a really off night. That was ours. We all take responsibility and have to get this back on track right away."
|Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla, left, gets rough with Phoenix Coyotes' Ed Jovanovski during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday Feb. 5, 2008. The two would engage in a fight shortly after. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal) |
Redemption, however, doesn't come easy as Calgary had to overcome some serious defensive gaffes and a 3-0 deficit to stage a 4-3 shootout win over the Coyotes.
Peter Mueller, the Coyotes rookie, found the holes and the gaps and scored a natural hat trick as the Coyotes streaked to a 3-0 lead by the end of the second period.
Just 23 seconds into the game, Mueller took a cross-ice pass and buried a shot behind Flames starter Miikka Kiprusoff. Mueller added his second of the game at 10:51 of the second to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead when he whacked home his own rebound after sneaking into the slot and taking a pass from behind the net. He completed the trio of goals late in the third period, taking a tight pass in the slot and firing it home to put the Coyotes up 3-0.
The Flames, meanwhile, couldn't buy a goal and, at that point, had given up eight straight goals over two games without a response.
Defenceman Dion Phaneuf broke the string at 7:01 of the third when he scored with a wrist shot on the power play. Phaneuf scored his second of the game at 13:59 to truly make a game of this one. On the play he broke his stick as he shot, throwing a curve-ball like shot at Ilya Brygalov.
Then came redemption and the end of a slump for Iginla, who tied the game with eight seconds on the clock, a wrister, short-side over Bryzgalov, to force overtime.
Iginla entered the game on a 10-game scoreless drought, something that hadn't happened to the sniper since December, 1999, when he was 22 years old. He was also benched for long stretches in the third period of the Edmonton game, although head coach Mike Keenan said that was more to save legs for the battle against Phoenix than anything else.
With his team trailing in the first period, Iginla picked a fight with Coyote defenceman Ed Jovanovski. The pair exchanged some serious blows and in the end, probably fought to a draw. "You are always blowing off steam in a fight," smiled Iginla.
"You have to work your way out of it," he said of his slump. "I have to make sure my feet are moving and I am skating. If it is not going in, I have to be positive in other areas of the game and make sure I am contributing."
A fight, an assist, a goal and a hootout goal. That would be consdiered contributing as Iginla registered an assist on Phaneuf's second goal of the game and then put the cherry on top by being the only one of six shooters to score in the shootout portion.
"I was very happy to see that goal go in for a number of reasons. I was just trying to turn and shoot it. Sometimes when you are not expecting something to happen, it does," said Iginla of his buzzer-beating goal. "We kept pushing. I thought we had good pressure. We were skating. Some shots were just rattling off Bryzgalov's handle."
Added Phaneuf: "It was a huge win for us. It was a huge effort by our whole hockey team against a very good team."
And the three-goal comeback? Where did that come from?
"We play to win," said Phaneuf.