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Iginla leads Flames to 6-3 win over Blue Jackets

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CALGARY -- What slump?

With one laser beam of a third-period snap shot, Jarome Iginla authored a breakout offensive performance -- and ensured a thoroughly miserable night for Steve Mason, the reigning Calder Trophy winner -- as the Calgary Flames doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Tuesday night.

Iginla had just four points before Tuesday, but his rocket from the right wing  capped a three-point night for No. 12 and gave the Flames (6-2-1) a 5-3 lead.

"I was trying to make a conscious effort, talking to Connie and Glennie (linemates Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross), to shoot the puck a little bit more," Iginla said. "We were trying to buzz a little bit more, and get our feet moving. I thought we did that tonight.

"Fortunately, (the shot) went in. I was afraid it hit the post, actually. I didn't see it go in. So it was nice when the fire went off."

By his own admission, Mason had an off-night in net for the Jackets (5-2-0), surrendering those six goals on 22 Calgary shots. But there wasn't much the 21-year-old could have done about Iginla's rocket.

"Obviously, it was a good shot," a dejected Mason said. "There was an option for a back-door pass, so I just came out and cut down the angle. But give him credit. It was a good shot."

Mason was, however, chagrined by the winning goal, a harmless wrister by Dion Phaneuf from 50 feet that caught him flat-footed and gave the Flames a 4-3 lead at 13:44 of the second. Just prior to Phaneuf's goal, the Flames had finally ended a stretch of 21:14 without a single shot on net.

"We'd just tied the game up, and then to let in a goal like that … it really takes a lot of energy out of the team … the puck caught me off-guard," Mason said. "When you've already let in a few goals, you would like to feel the puck more and get comfortable. But that's part of the position, being able to fight through those things."

The home team in Calgary-Columbus meetings has now won eight straight meetings and 12 of the past 14. The Flames looked ready to blow the game open early, taking a 2-0 lead within four minutes on goals by Daymond Langkow and Glencross and then earning an 83-second, two-man advantage.

But Rick Nash muscled past Phaneuf in the neutral zone to hunt down a clearing pass, earning a breakaway and tucking the puck around Miikka Kiprusoff's pad for a shorthanded goal at 6:08 -- the puck went into the net just as the first penalty expired.

Penalties would continue to cause momentum swings through the night. The Jackets' Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek scored power-play goals 48 seconds apart early in the second to draw Columbus even at 3-3, but the Flames killed off a big 96-second, two-man advantage around the second intermission en route to victory.

"We're quite the team when we stay out of the penalty box," said Glencross, whose club allowed Columbus seven power plays. "When we have a little mental flaw, and take a few penalties, the tide can turn. But it was good to see the guys bounce back."

Observed Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock: "We had too much casual puck play. This was creeping in against Los Angeles (during the Jackets' 4-1 home win on Saturday), and it reared its head.

"The first (Calgary) goal was a double turnover in our own zone, and they scored two other goals on turnovers. We have not managed the puck as well five-on-five as we normally do."

Two players scored their first goal in a Flames uniform, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and winger Fredrik Sjostrom. Bouwmeester pinched in from the point to ram home a loose puck in the first period, but Sjostrom's goal- which capped Tuesday's scoring -- was truly a thing of beauty.

The Swedish forward negotiated a long Robyn Regehr pass into his skates, strode in on a breakaway, and was nearly hauled down on a hook by Mathieu Roy, but curled back toward the net and fired the puck just inside the far post with 4:05 left in the game.

"That's one of my better ones," Sjostrom said with a laugh. "That was spur-of-the-moment. I was really happy to see that one go in."

--Todd Kimberley, NHL.com Correspondent

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