is making a strong case for being named the NHL’s most valuable player with a three goal performance against the Minnesota Wild.
|Dion Phaneuf had a big goal |
With just 23 seconds remaining in the second period, the captain won a crucial face-off in the offensive zone and then buried the rebound off of Dion Phaneuf’s shot. Iginla’s first goal of the night tied the game and sparked the Flames three-goal third period.
After this third goal, hats rained down and the sold-out crowd broke into “MVP” chants. Iginla’s 48th of the season came at 6:47 in the third period.
In addition to his hat trick, Iginla was a powerhouse in the face-off circle. He won 67 per cent of his face-offs.
Dion Phaneuf and Matthew Lombardi also scored for Calgary.
Phaneuf notched his first career short-handed goal just three minutes into the second frame. During a line change, he bulldozed his way through four players and his one-handed backhand slid under Josh Harding’s legs.
Harding started in goal for the Wild. It was his first action in eight games.
Even with the Flames coming on strong in the final period, Minnesota kept the pressure up until the very end. Kim Johnsson scored his second of the night with just 55 seconds left but couldn’t net the equalizer with the extra attacker.
The win puts the Flames only one point behind the Wild, the Northwest Division leaders. Calgary has one game in hand on Minnesota, putting them in a good position to take ownership of the division and securing home ice advantage in the playoffs.