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Flames end skid with win over Oilers

by John Kreiser
The Calgary Flames snapped their nine-game losing streak in the best way they could have imagined -- by completing the first-ever sweep of the Battle of Alberta.

Jarome Iginla broke out of a slump with two goals and a pair of assists as the Flames routed Edmonton 6-1 on Saturday night, extending the Oilers' losing streak to 13 games and beating their provincial rivals for the sixth time in as many meetings this season.

"It's obviously been a real tough stretch for us," the Flames captain said. "But guys are still positive. We look at the conference and we know that a run and a streak and we can climb right in it and move up.

"We know it's a huge win tonight. For us it's three games in a row with a point, and that's something to build on and keep going."

Dustin Boyd also had two goals for the Flames, who hadn't won since beating Vancouver on Jan. 9. Calgary completed the first season sweep of the Oilers since coming from Atlanta in 1980.

"It's great to feed off the energy in these games," Iginla said. "The Battle of Alberta -- whatever the standings are, these are still important games and you could see the fans were into it."

Flames coach Brent Sutter was more concerned about getting his team back on track. The victory moved Calgary back into eighth place in the West with 62 points, one ahead of Detroit.

"It was a real solid game," he said. "Not only did we need to win this, but we need to get going at home. We have to play better at home and hopefully this is the start."

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 of 28 shots for the Flames, allowing only a first-period goal by Sam Gagner.

The news keeps getting worse for the Oilers, who went 0-for-January and haven't won since beating Toronto on Dec. 30. Coach Pat Quinn announced after the game that defenseman Sheldon Souray broke his hand in a third-period fight with Iginla. Quinn said the Oilers would have more information on Sunday.

The Oilers are 0-11-2 and just one shy of the longest winless streak in franchise history and have won just once in their last 21 games. They are last in the overall standings with 38 points.

"When it's like this, like it's been for the last month, you get down," Quinn said. "You start feeling sorry for yourself. That's when it gets hard to fight."

Rene Bourque broke a 1-1 tie at 13:20 of the first period when he snapped a shot from the slot past Devan Dubnyk. The Flames then blew the game open with three goals in the second period.

Boyd's second goal at 6:48 came after a botched pass between Souray and Gagner that resulted in a loose puck in the slot that he whipped into the top corner behind Dubnyk. Dion Phaneuf blasted a slap shot from the right point past Dubnyk 44 seconds later, and Iginla then connected during a two-man advantage at 15:13.

"We made enough mistakes to be a team that didn't give itself a chance to win," Quinn said.

Iginla finished the scoring at 9:40 of the third, not long after he came out of the penalty box after fighting Souray.

"Big fight, big goals, big assists," Boyd said of Iginla. "He played really well."

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