CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames were able to break out of their nine-game losing skid on Saturday and they were able to do it in fine fashion.
"It's huge," Adam Pardy said of the win. "We needed to win tonight. We lost nine in a row and now we've got that first win, we get moving. Together as a team we get rolling. We've got about seven games before the breaks so we need a strong seven games and keep moving on up in the standings.
The Flames handed the Oilers their 13th straight loss with 6-1 thumping. It was the sixth and final game of the season series between the two clubs and the Flames were able to make a bit of history with the victory: this is the first time in the Battle of Alberta that a team has swept the other in a season.
"It was a big game for our team. There was a lot of talk (surrounding the game), neither team had won in a long time and I thought right from the start, as a group, we came out and we were ready," said captain Jarome Iginla. "It's great to feed off the energy of these games. The Battle of Alberta, wherever the standings are, whatever - they're important games and you could see the fans were into it."
The newly formed line of Iginla, Dustin Boyd and Mikael Backlund paid off big time for head coach Brent Sutter as they picked up eight points in win. After the game, Boyd said that while playing with the team's leading scorer on the top line was a bit nerve wracking, it was fun as well.
"Backs is a great young player and Iggy's a good player too," he said with a grin. "We needed to change something up, get some different line combos and tonight it worked. Every line contributed"
Boyd kicked off his night with an easy tap-in at 3:45. The forward was waiting at the side of the cage when an Iginla shot bounced off the boards and right onto his stick. His first goal of the night was his seventh of the year.
Sam Gagner answered back with a power play marker. The youngster parked himself on the side of the net and roofed it over Miikka Kiprusoff's shoulder at 12:25.
After that, it was all Flames. Rene Bourque gave the Flames the lead at 13:20 with his 18th tally this season. He took a quick Jay Bouwmeester pass, skated up the center and wired it past Dubnyk.
Boyd earned his second of the night after some great forechecking. He took advantage of some very sloppy defensive play by the Oilers, taking the puck right off Sheldon Souray's stick and throwing it in the back of the net.
The next Flames goal was courtesy of Dion Phaneuf, who sent a howitzer from the blueline and beat Dubnyk cleanly. It was Phaneuf's 10th of the season.
The Oilers handed the Flames a 1:41 two-man advantage and Iginla wasn't about to waste that opportunity. After some patient passing plays, the captain took over and threw in his first marker of the night.
The start of the third period saw Iginla square off with Souray in a spirited tilt. The two have a history dating back to the second game of the season series on Oct. 8, 2009. Iginla took Souray's feet out from under him while the two were racing to get the puck on the boards and Souray suffered a concussion from the fall.
"Maybe a little bit, I'm not sure," was Iginla's response when asked if the fight was a carryover from the initial incident with Souray. "You'd have to ask him if there's a carryover but I think it's more just the situation that both teams were in and not being in too good of moods tonight."
What was said before the two dropped the gloves?
"At that point, we had already decided we were probably going to go later. That was our first shift together so we just went 'Get over here and get it over with.' That's all part of hockey."
Iginla potted his second of the game, and fourth point of the evening, shortly after the scrap. With some scrambling in front of the Oilers net, Iginla got himself positioned and directed Boyd's shot into the open cage.
The Flames get back to work climbing the Northwest Division ladder on Monday when the Philadelphia Flyers pay them a visit. Game time is 7:30 p.m on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
|THE TURNING POINT |
|Boyd's opening goal was really the catalyst for the Flames offensive firepower. After seeing the bounces may just be going their way, the Flames were relentless on the puck, dominating on the forecheck and taking the body every chance they got. The club gained a lot of confidence from that first goal and couldn't be stopped after that. |
|ROSTER NOTES |
|D Aaron Johnson, F Nigel Dawes and F Craig Conroy were scratched. The Oilers scratched D Ladislav Smid, F Zack Stortini and F Mike Comrie. |
|TONIGHT'S DIGITS |
|902 - Career points for Iginla. He had a 4-point outing against the Oilers. |
52 - Per cent of faceoffs won by the Flames. Iginla led the way with an 86 per cent win rate in draws.
3 - Hits for Cory Sarich. He led the team in this category.
5 - Blocked shots for both Pardy and Bourque, leading all players.
|"He plays with a lot of emotion. It was one heck of a fight and all the boys were pumped up." - Boyd on Iginla's scrap with Souray |
"I didn't know what was going on there. I heard the whistle and turned around and saw the two of them dropping the gloves. He stepped up. We need that effort out of him and he showed us his leadership tonight." - Pardy on Iginla's fight and overall performance
"It was huge. We look at the standings and it's so bunched up, we can put a string together and climb quickly. We got the win tonight and it's three games in a row with a point." - Iginla on the win
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Jarome Iginla |
A Gordie Howe hat trick for the captain, 4 points on the night
| ||Dustin Boyd |
2 goals and a helper in his best performance
| ||Jay Bouwmeester |
2 assists and a solid night defensively