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Iginla propels Flames to 6-3 win

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY - Jarome Iginla scored once and added two assists Tuesday night to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It was the first multi-point game of the season for the struggling Flames captain, who entered the night with just two goals and two assists through the first eight games. Playing his second consecutive game on a line centred by Craig Conroy, the two re-united linemates combined to set up first-period goals by Curtis Glencross and Jay Bouwmeester as Calgary took a 3-1 lead.

With the Flames leading 4-3 in the third period, Iginla gave Calgary some breathing room at 12:46, snapping a shot from the face-off dot into the top corner past goaltender Steve Mason.

Daymond Langkow, Dion Phaneuf and Fredrik Sjostrom also scored for the Flames (6-2-1), who improved to 2-0 on a season-high five-game homestand.

Rick Nash, Derrick Brassard, and Jakub Voracek replied for the Blue Jackets (5-2-0), who kicked off a four-game road trip on a sour note.

Despite being outplayed for the entire period, Calgary broke a 3-3 tie at 13:44 of the second on Phaneuf's team-leading fifth goal. After starting behind his own net, Phaneuf lugged the puck into the Columbus zone before snapping a long shot past Mason from just inside the blue-line.

Columbus outshot Calgary on the night 30-22.

A key sequence in the game came early in the first period when the Flames, who led 2-0 at the time, received a two-man advantage for 1:23. But Calgary's second-ranked power play couldn't muster any offence against the Blue Jackets, owners of the top penalty-killing unit in the league.

Columbus actually did some damage of its own while down two men. Nash used a burst of speed to beat Phaneuf to a loose puck in the Flames zone and the Columbus captain swooped in on Miikka Kiprusoff, deking the Calgary netminder for his fourth goal of the season, and second shorthanded marker in as many games.

Calgary restored its two-goal lead when Bouwmeester notched his first goal as a Flame at 11:24. That seemed to ignite the Blue Jackets, who didn't allow another Calgary shot on goal for more than 21 minutes.

Columbus converted its own two-man advantage 25 seconds into the second period. Brassard's slapshot from the blue-line through an R.J. Umberger screen at 0:52 made it 3-2.

The Blue Jackets tied it 48 seconds later when Brassard neatly set up Voracek, who had plenty of net to roof the puck into with Kiprusoff trapped out of position.

Mason entered the night having given up just one goal in each of his previous two games, but he was beaten twice in the opening four minutes by a determined Flames squad that took the first seven shots of the period.

Calgary opened the scoring at 2:42 when Bouwmeester's point shot deflected off the skate of a Columbus defenceman and went right to Langkow, who was left with an open net.

Glencross made it 2-0 at 3:57 when his attempted pass to Conroy on a two-on-one rush went in off Blue Jackets defenceman Marc Methot.

Notes: Calgary D Aaron Johnson made his Flames debut. Acquired in a Oct. 7 trade with Chicago, it was Johnson's first game since April 12, the Blackhawks final game of the regular season last year. Johnson was a healthy scratch for all 17 of Chicago's playoff games last year and had to make an appearance this year. ... Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Nash has 11 shorthanded goals, second most in the NHL behind Philadelphia's Mike Richards (12). ... Columbus D Mike Commmodore (groin) is back practising and is expected back in the line-up soon... The Blue Jackets had been a perfect 3-0 when giving up the first goal of the game.

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