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Flames extend home streak by beating Ducks 1-0 in OT

by Aaron Vickers
CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames need to capitalize on home cooking to get into the top eight in the Western Conference. They continued to do just that on Thursday night.
The Flames extended their winning streak at the Scotiabank Saddledome to eight games when Blair Jones beat Jonas Hiller 1:51 into overtime for a 1-0 victory against the Anaheim Ducks.

"We need to win our home games," captain Jarome Iginla said. "That's what's giving us a chance to stay in the playoff hunt. Our confidence is growing here. You've got to be good at home."

The goal marked Jones' first since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 6. Mark Giordano, in his first game back after missing 21 with a torn hamstring, assisted on the play.

"I just kind of had the puck pop out to me around their bench and tapped it over to Gio and he dropped it back for me and I got a shot off," Jones said. "I just followed it up and got my own rebound and it went in."

Jones said he was relieved to get his first goal in a Flames jersey.

"That's definitely good," he said. "I missed a couple my first game and I was wondering 'God, I hope it goes in sooner than later'. It's definitely exciting to be in the mix."

Iginla, who has all of his 501 career goals with Calgary, was happy for the team's newest center.

"That's pretty cool to get your first goal that way, an overtime goal in a 1-0 game," Iginla said. "We were all very excited to see it go in but also for him. He's been great to have so far and we want to keep going."

Miikka Kiprusoff earned his third shutout of the season by making 23 saves -- none bigger than the last one, when he denied Ryan Getzlaf from just outside the crease.

As play began, the Flames were announcing a trade that brought speedy forward Mike Cammalleri back to the Flames for forward Rene Bourque, who was sitting out the fourth of a five-game suspension. Cammalleri had 39 goals and 82 points for the Flames in 2008-09 before signing a five-year contract with Montreal.

The Flames did their best not to let the deal become a distraction.

"Usually those things don't happen mid-game," defenseman Cory Sarich said. "He [Bourque] is a nice guy, a really good teammate, and I wish him well. We know what Cammi's all about. He's going to help our team. Hopefully both teams make out well with the trade."

After a pedestrian second period that featured a combined six shots, both teams pushed into the third with the hope of ending the game in regulation.

Hiller managed to blocker away a Roman Horak blast, and the rebound hit defenseman Cam Fowler and trickled wide just four minutes into the final period.

At 9:32, Saku Koivu thought he had put the Ducks ahead. Koivu, coming off a hat trick against Dallas on Wednesday, tried to feed a centering pass through the crease -- instead, the puck hit Kiprusoff's stick and went through the goalie's legs. Kiprusoff was able to smother the puck with his pad before it crossed the goal line.

"They went upstairs," Koivu said. "Someone said they didn't have a good view from up top because Kiprusoff's pad was on top of it. The puck was in the net, but did the puck cross the line afterwards? No one could really tell."

Corey Perry, who was named to the All-Star Game earlier in the day after an assist from teammate Teemu Selanne, almost put the Ducks ahead with 3:07 left in regulation. Perry corralled the puck below the goal line, spun out in front of the net and tried to wrap a shot around Kiprusoff, who managed to get his right pad on the puck.

The two teams played to a scoreless draw through the first 40 minutes thanks in part to Hiller and Kiprusoff.

Just 4:30 into the game, Iginla stripped a Ducks defenseman and went in uncontested with Hiller. Trying to outwait the Anaheim goalie, Iginla faked but couldn't score. Three minutes later Tom Kostopoulos had a similar chance after splitting a pair of Ducks. Kostopoulos went in alone, but missed the net after deking Hiller.

The combination of George Parros and Rod Pelley almost opened the scoring for Anaheim late in the period. Parros put the puck into the net off the skate of Pelley, but the goal was disallowed after a video review.

Though they didn't win, Anaheim did get a point to improve to 3-0-1 in its last four games -- something Koivu said the team could build on heading into Friday's game at Edmonton.

"The wins on the road have been really tough for us," Koivu said. "We were able to keep them under 15 shots throughout almost the whole game. We did a lot of good things out there. You're trying to build on things with things like this and games like this and grab all the positives for tomorrow's game and then hopefully get the win."
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