DETROIT, MI -- After drawing within a point of the Detroit Red Wings, the Calgary Flames had the chance to pass the boys from Motor City and get themselves back into the playoffs. They did just that.
Their 4-2 victory over the high-flying Red Wings places them in eighth place in the Western Conference and moves them just two points away from the seventh place Nashville Predators.
It was another offensively strong night for the Flames, with seven players putting points on the board. The top line lead the way for the second straight game, with Jarome Iginla scoring the tying goal and Rene Bourque tossing in the game winner in the third period.
After the game, Bourque told Sportsnet that the team was trying to keep it simple throughout the game.
"Our defense was great at getting pucks to the net tonight," he said. "We got a lot of pucks around the the net and that's how we've got to score goals.
"We've got a lot of work to do but we're on a good pace."
The first goal of the game came after a great read by defenseman Ian White. The blueliner made a timely pinch to knock the puck back deep into the Red Wings zone. The shot bounced off the boards and right onto Daymond Langkow's stick. The veteran forward sent a hard one-timer at Howard and beat him high on the short side.
The Red Wings answered back with goals from ever-dangerous Pavel Datysuk and Tomas Holmstrom, giving the home team the lead going into the third period.
The Flames weren't done yet, though. They went into the third stanza with a mission and didn't quit until they accomplished it.
The tying marker came courtesy of the top line. Rene Bourque and Matt Stajan worked their way to the net from the half-wall and Iginla steamed towards Howard, stopping just in front of the netminder and backhanded the puck over the sprawling netminder.
It was Iginla's first goal in the past 19 games against the Red Wings.
Head coach Brent Sutter saw the jump his top line had and opted to put them out quickly after the tying goal. It paid off. Bourque scored the game winner 1:31 after Iginla's goal by positioning himself in front of the net. Robyn Regehr let a rocket go, it bounced off Iginla's tip, onto Bourque and into the back of the net.
"Iggy batted it," Bourque laughed as he was interviewed by Sportsnet after the game. "Then it hit me but I'll take it."
Chris Higgins put the nail in the coffin when he was able to score an empty net goal with 0:45 remaining in regulation.
The Flames will return to the C of Red on Thursday when they take on the Ottawa Senators. Game time is 7:30 p.m. MST on Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
|WHY THE FLAMES WON |
|Heading into the third period down by a goal while playing the Red Wings may seem daunting, the Flames didn't get down on themselves. They played a desperate but intelligent final frame, outshooting Detroit 15-4 and maintaining the territorial edge. The top line once again came up big when they needed to and the rest of the team followed their lead, working hard along the boards and around the net. Miikka Kiprusoff was his usual brilliant self, making the saves needed against a team full of snipers. |
|GAME NOTES |
|The Flames made no changes in their lineup from Sunday's game against the Wild: D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Mikael Backlund and F Nigel Dawes sat out. Detroit scratched D Derek Meech and D Brett Lebda. |
|TODAY'S DIGITS |
|500 - Career games for Ales Kotalik. |
20 - Goals for Bourque this season. He had a 2 point night, assisting on Iginla's tying marker.
9 - Straight seasons that Iginla has potted 30+ goals.
3 - Unanswered goals in the 3rd period by the Flames.
1 - Higgins scored his 1st as a Flame at 19:15 of the 3rd period.
|"If you keep dwelling on where you're at, it becomes a very weight-bearing thing. And mentally it's such a struggle. You can't think about it like that.You don't worry about where you're at. You focus in on where you want to get." - Head coach Brent Sutter on the playoff race in the Western Conference and how his team is approaching it. |
"I didn’t even know it was that long of a stretch with 30 goals. Only a handful of guys have done it before. Just shows how gifted he is, how consistent he’s been throughout his career." - Bourque on Iginla's nine-season streak of 30+ goals.
"For whatever reason, it's been pretty dry against them in the regular season. But just keep playing and it's bound to change. Try to do the right things. Get good quality shots." - Iginla on Monday about his 19 game scoring dryspell against the Red Wings. He ended that streak on Tuesday with the tying goal.
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Rene Bourque |
Scored the game winner, collected 2 points, 4 shots
| ||Jarome Iginla |
Tied the game with his 31st of the year, 3 shots, 2 hits
| ||Ian White |
A +3 on the night, 1 assist, 2 shots, 1 blocked shot