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Iginla scores winner, Flames beat Coyotes to close in on playoff berth @NHLdotcom

CALGARY - Jarome Iginla scored the game-winning goal in the second period to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

Iginla has now scored in six straight games and has eight goals and six assists during his eight-game point streak, all in the month of March.

Sven Baertschi, Matt Stajan and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Flames (34-25-12), who have reeled off five straight wins to pull within one point of the seventh-place Coyotes (35-26-11) and eighth-place Colorado Avalanche (38-30-5) in the Western Conference standings.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for the Coyotes, who were coming off a 5-4 win in Vancouver over the Canucks one night earlier.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves for Calgary to record his 33rd win of the season. Mike Smith stopped 15 shots for Phoenix.

Baertschi, who joined the Flames on March 7 on an emergency-recall basis from the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks, has scored goals in three straight games.

Stajan, who was elevated to the top line with Iginla and Alex Tanguay during Calgary's recent rash of injuries, has scored three times in the past four games and has points (three goals, three assists) in five straight.

Before many of the 19,829 fans at the Saddledome could get to their seats, Baertschi scored to give the Flames an early 1-0 lead. Forechecking hard in the Phoenix zone, Baertschi intercepted an errant pass in front of the net by Coyotes defenceman Keith Yandle and quickly backhanded a shot over Smith's glove.

Later in the opening frame, Smith made a nice glove save to stop a slap shot off the stick of Blake Comeau before sliding across his crease to get in front of a heavy shot from the point by Calgary defenceman Anton Babchuk.

At the other end of the ice, Kiprusoff turned aside a slap shot by Ray Whitney before stretching across his crease to deny Ekman-Larsson from knocking in the rebound.

Iginla put the Flames up 2-0 just past the five-minute mark the second when he took a long stretch pass from Mark Giordano and skated into the Phoenix zone before wiring a snap shot to the top corner past Smith.

Ekman-Larsson pulled the Coyotes to within a goal at 17:37 of the middle frame when he took a pass from Whitney and roofed a shot over a sprawling Kiprusoff.

Just 33 seconds later, Stajan put the Flames back up by a pair when he drove hard to the net and redirected a pass from Cory Sarich across the goal-line.

One minute into the third period, Kiprusoff made a save to thwart Whitney on a breakaway attempt, then stopped a long shot from the NHL veteran a short time later.

The Coyotes recorded the first 13 shots on net in the final period before Jokinen finally directed a puck past Smith just past the 12-minute mark while the Flames were on a power play.

The Flames then added an insurance goal when Curtis Glencross made some nice moves in the offensive zone to set up Tanguay for a short-handed goal.

Notes: Calgary D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 577th straight game to move into sole possession of seventh spot on the NHL???s all-time ironman list. ... Meanwhile, Yandle played in his 244th straight game and is second behind Bouwmeester among defenceman on the active consecutive games played list. ... Phoenix coach Dave Tippett is one win away from his 400th NHL head coaching victory.

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