Skip to main content

Flames 3, Wild 2 @NHLdotcom

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -The win was far from impressive, but after a five-game losing streak it looked great to the Calgary Flames.

Kristian Huselius scored the winning goal with 53 seconds remaining, and the Flames snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Up 1-0 entering the third period, the Flames fell behind on consecutive goals by Mikko Koivu before rallying for the win on goals that both were the result of fortuitous bounces.

Just 21 seconds after Koivu's fifth of the season put the Wild in front, Jarome Iginla scored his 11th goal of the season on the definitive fluke goal.

Streaking over the Minnesota blue line, Iginla let go a slap shot that first deflected off Wild defenseman Nick Schultz, caromed wickedly off the ankle of defense partner Brent Burns, and went straight into the net past stunned goalie Niklas Backstrom.

On the winning goal, Daymond Langkow's shot off the stick of Burns caromed near the corner to Huselius, who quickly snapped his eighth goal of the season through Backstrom's pads.

"First the puck hits a couple players and goes in," Calgary forward Alex Tanguay said. "The last one, Kristian made a nice shot but from the angle he was, that shot normally doesn't go in. I guess we were owed one."

Tanguay was a central figure in the third. He was serving his second minor penalty of the period when Minnesota scored to take the lead. After he departed the penalty box, Flames coach Mike Keenan kept him on the ice. The move paid off as Tanguay's hit began the sequence that led to Iginla's tying goal.

"He was upset with the call and he came out with a strong will, made a big play and that led to the opportunity we picked up as a result of his hit deep in our end," Keenan said.

Dion Phaneuf and Iginla scored for the Flames, who won at home for the first time in four games.

"Confidence and momentum are two things that you need on your side in this game and you have to make sure you work hard to get them and then once you have them, you have to keep them," Tanguay said.

Minnesota fell to 0-2 on its four-game road trip that will take the Wild to the other four teams of the Northwest Division. The Wild were again without two-thirds of their top line with Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra still out with groin injuries, which have sidelined them for the past three games.

Calgary led 1-0 after two periods, but the advantage was turned into a one-goal deficit when Koivu scored goals less than seven minutes apart.

At 3:17, Koivu tied it with his fourth of the season. After chipping the puck past Adrian Aucoin at the Minnesota blue line, Koivu raced up ice and redirected a pass from Mark Parrish just inside the goal post beyond goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Wild surged in front at 9:52 on a power play when Koivu, standing uncovered in the slot, steered in Petteri Nummelin's shot from the side boards.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Flames got even 21 seconds later when Iginla scored the definitive fluke goal.

"We really did have the momentum there but Iginla's goal was a little unfortunate for us for sure," Minnesota center Brian Rolston said. "Sometimes that can change a hockey game. We were still playing hard but then they get that third one. It's a bit of a jinx for us in this building."

Streaking over the Minnesota blue line, Iginla's slap shot deflected off Wild defenseman Nick Schultz, caromed wickedly off the ankle of Burns, and went straight into the net past a stunned Backstrom.

The goal extended Iginla's point streak to seven games (five goals, four assists).

Kiprusoff made 26 saves, earning his second win in seven starts since signing a $35 million, six-year contract extension Oct. 29.

"Like the pitcher in baseball or the quarterback in football, the goaltender often gets most of the blame because they're the last line of defense but it's a team game, it hasn't been Miikka's fault," Tanguay said.

Kiprusoff entered having given up three or more goals in his last five starts. Neither his goals-against average (3.19) or save percentage (.884) was in the NHL's top 35.

The lone goal of the opening 40 minutes came at 15:43 of the first period when Phaneuf scored on the power play. Alex Tanguay slid the puck over to Phaneuf pinching in from the blue line for a one-timed, hard slap shot into the top corner past Backstrom.

Notes: Kiprusoff has gone 23 games, dating to last season, without a shutout. He entered with 24 NHL blankings, an average of one every 9.7 appearances. ... Langkow returned to the lineup after missing one game due to a concussion. Flames D Rhett Warrener returned after missing four games due to strep throat. ... Kiprusoff and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov are the only two goalies to start every one of their team's games this season.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.