CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames wanted to head into the Olympic break on a high note and they accomplished what they set out to do with a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Team Canada alternate captain Jarome Iginla led his team to victory with two goals, his first of the night being the game winner,
"I thought we played more confidently," Iginla said of the victory. "I thought we were more assertive. We were trying to make things happen. We moved the puck a lot better and every line was creating (chances).
"I thought we had a lot of quality scoring chances. It's a good way to go out on the break and that's the way we have to play."
Iginla credited the team's compete level as the major factor in the win. Going into the third period up by two goals, the team didn't sit back and try to defend their lead - they kept trying to get that next goal.
"We've talked about it in the past," Iginla said of maintaining that go-for-the-kill attitude. "We tried to make a conscious effort to try and get number four, not to change anything that we were doing.
"It's easier said than done but we haven't had a lot of success lately the other way, trying to just preserve the lead, and tonight I thought we still got some very good chances in the third."
Netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, who is also heading to Vancouver to start in goal for Finland, played spectacularly as well, making 26 saves.
Troy Bodie opened the scoring, albeit unknowingly, at 12:25 of the first period. His shot looked like it rang off the crossbar but several minutes later, the play was reviewed and the puck did enter the net. It was Bodie's fourth tally of the season with assists going to Scott Niedermayer and Kyle Chipchura.
The Flames got on the board just over four minutes later thanks to Eric Nystrom. The 26 year-old burst through the Ducks zone, cut to the net and shovelled the puck through Jonas Hiller's legs. It was Nystrom's first goal in 43 games and the look of pure elation on the forward's face got the C of Red really pumped up.
"It's definitely a relief," a smiling Nystrom told the media. "I'm kind of upset that we have the break now because I was feeling pretty good out there. We're going to get some well-needed rest here and get charged up for the stretch run."
It was the Iginla show in the second period with the captain notching his 26th and 27th goals. The first came when Iginla sent a rocket of a one-timer off a Curtis Glencross pass.
His second of the night was from a patented wrister just outside the faceoff circle. Matt Stajan neatly passed the puck over to the captain as soon as they got over the blue line, Iginla carried it a few paces before wiring it past Hiller.
The Flames won't be in action for over two weeks thanks to the Olympic break. Their next game is on Mar. 3 when they'll clash with their Northwest Division rival, the Minnesota Wild. Game time is 8:00 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
|WHY THE FLAMES WON |
|The entire team played with energy, enthusiasm and grit for a full 60 minutes. The level of compete throughout the lineup was high and players built off each other as the game went on. The Flames aren't exactly known for their high-scoring games so being able to put 38 shots on net showed the determination on the bench. The team was also disciplined, only taking two minors in the contest. |
|ROSTER NOTES |
|Forwards Nigel Dawes and David Moss were taken off the injured reserve this week and were inserted into the lineup against the Ducks. D Aaron Johnson and F Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches for the Flames. Rene Bourque was placed on the injured reserve with an undisclosed ailment. Jamie Lundmark was recently put on waivers and was claimed by Toronto on Saturday morning. The Ducks scratched F Ryan Getzlaf, F George Parros and F Evgeny Artyukhin. |
|TONIGHT'S DIGITS |
|27 - Goals this season for Iginla. |
43 - Games without a goal for Nystrom.
38 - Shots on net for the Flames.
2 - Fights in the game.
24:09 - Ice time for Mark Giordano, leading the Flames in this category.
|"Difficult decisions, but good decisions to have. The trades have allowed that to happen. You can put two players like those two players back in the lineup ... it's certainly a good thing. Yet by doing so, something happens with two others. That's what depth does." - Brent Sutter on Dawes and Moss playing their first game back since being taken off the injured reserve. |
"You have to be capable to win 1-0 but you can't try to win 1-0. You've got to put pressure. All the way around, every line felt like creating more. We need that." - Iginla on the team's effort.
"Just a little a vacation and some relaxtion - nothing crazy." - Nystom on how he'll be celebrating his birthday (Feb. 14)
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Jarome Iginla |
Notched 2 goals in the contest, 4 shots on net, 25 shifts
| ||Miikka Kiprusoff |
Made some spectacular saves that kept his team in
| ||Eric Nystrom |
Lifted the spirits on the bench with his goal, 2 shots on net