VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Jarome Iginla's first season as Calgary
captain has become the Flames' most successful campaign in 15 years.
Iginla scored two goals and assisted on Martin Gelinas' power-play winner
1:25 into overtime, giving the Flames a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks
in Game 7 Monday night and their first playoff series win since capturing the
Stanley Cup in 1989.
``Jarome Iginla tonight was a dominating player,'' Calgary coach Darryl
Sutter said. ``In my 25 years, the game tonight was as dominating as I've seen
one player in one game of playoff hockey.''
Iginla's second goal midway through the third period gave the Flames a 2-1
lead, but he missed an empty net late and then tripped over his stick at center
ice, leading to Matt Cooke's tying goal with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.
Instead of folding, the Flames, who lost Game 6 in triple overtime, came out
and scored quickly on a power play early in overtime.
With Ed Jovanovski in the penalty box for a high-sticking penalty with 27
seconds left, Alex Auld robbed Iginla on a rebound. But the puck bounced right
to Gelinas at the side of the net and he snapped it past the fallen goaltender.
``It was a heartbreaker with five seconds left and I felt bad for Iggy,''
Gelinas said. ``He was our leader all game long, then he steps on his stick and
they score. We came back and said `so be it' and we kept on moving. Fortunately
we got a good bounce in OT and came out on top.''
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 26 shots, and Craig Conroy had two assists for
Calgary, which won three of four games on the road.
The sixth-seeded Flames, who were 0-7 since 1991 when they had a chance to
win a series, will take on the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the second round
of the Western Conference playoffs.
``It's been 15 years since we've had a second round,'' said Iginla, who
recorded a game-high nine shots. ``Calgary is a great hockey city and I know
it's been tough on the fans, and they deserve this.''
Playing without No. 1 goaltender Dan Cloutier, who sprained his ankle in
Game 3, and forward Todd Bertuzzi, who was suspended for punching Colorado's
Steve Moore, the third-seeded Canucks failed to reach the second round for the
third time in four years.
Auld, a 23-year-old rookie making his third straight start ahead of regular
backup Johan Hedberg, finished with 25 saves. But it wasn't enough.
``In the end you have to compliment their superstar player,'' Canucks coach
Marc Crawford said of Iginla. ``He showed up and was outstanding. That was as
good a game as I've seen anybody play in my time.''
Iginla opened the scoring on a breakaway 12:50 into the second period, just
11 seconds after Kiprusoff stymied a Canucks power play.
Kiprusoff made point-blank saves off Jovanovski and Daniel Sedin just before
Conroy came out of the penalty box and skated to Matthew Lombardi's long pass
at center ice. Conroy fed Iginla streaking down the right wing and the Calgary
captain snapped a hard shot between Auld's legs.
Cooke tied it 7:32 into the third period, but took a double-minor penalty
for high-sticking. Cooke was hit by Andrew Ference and his stick came up and
clipped Rhett Warrener and bloodied his face.
Iginla scored his series-high fifth goal on the ensuing power play, cutting
to the net to get to a rebound and spinning from backhand to forehand before
tucking the puck past Auld.
``The more on the line, the more fun they are to play and the more fun they
are to win,'' said Iginla, playing his first full NHL playoff series. ``You
dream about them when you're younger, to be in an OT Game 7.''
Cooke redeemed himself by banging in the rebound just before the clock was
set to run out on the Canucks.
Despite missing two regulars on defense and several key forwards, the Flames
never stopped believing they could win.
``Regardless of whether we scored on the power play, we felt we were going
to win this game,'' Iginla said. ``We really believed it and fortunately we got