CALGARY - Matthew Lombardi's first goal of the season 2:42 into the second period stood as the game-winner Tuesday night as the Calgary Flames earned a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals.
The sequence began back in the Flames end when Adrian Aucoin dropped to his knees to block a hard slapshot from Washington defenceman Mike Green.
The Flames collected the loose puck and headed back up the ice, where Dustin Boyd dropped the puck into the slot for Lombardi, who whipped a wrist shot into the top corner past goaltender Jose Theodore.
It was third time lucky for Lombardi who, in the first period, had been thwarted twice by Theodore on good scoring chances from close-in.
Jarome Iginla also scored for Calgary (2-3-1). It was the Flames' first victory over Washington in nine tries dating back to Mar. 13, 1999. They had tied two and lost six games during that span.
Sergei Fedorov scored for Washington (3-2-1), which lost in regulation for the first time since the season opener. Fedorov's goal was No. 473 of his career, tying him with Alexander Mogilny for most career NHL goals by a Russian-born player.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 30 saves for the Flames in what was easily his best game of the season.
Kiprusoff's biggest stop may have been a pad save on Alexander Semin from the side of the net early in the third period, preserving the Flames' one-goal lead.
It was no ordinary Tuesday night in front of sell-out crowd of 19,289 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Included in the unusual night was a nine-minute power-play given to Washington in the first period followed by four straight two-man advantages awarded to the Flames.
It was on the third of those two-man opportunities that Calgary finally got on the board.
Washington defenceman John Erskine was already in the penalty box to start the second period when David Steckel was whistled 39 seconds in for throwing his stick.
It was just 21 seconds later when Iginla tied the game 1-1, intercepting Shaone Morrisonn's clearing attempt and rifling a slapshot. Theodore got most of it, but the puck trickled over the goal-line.
The intrigue began seven minutes into the first period when Washington defenceman Tyler Sloan levelled Calgary centre Daymond Langkow with a clean bodycheck at the Capitals' blue-line.
Sloan, 27, playing just his third NHL shift, was immediately tackled by Calgary's Rene Bourque who then pummelled him while he was down on the ice.
Out of that altercation, Sloan was not penalized while Bourque was handed 19 minutes in penalties - minors for unsportsmanlike conduct and instigating, a fighting major and a game misconduct.
Looking at a rare nine-minute power play, Washington instead saw momentum swing back in Calgary's favour - generating just two harmless shots on goal for the entire man advantage. A Michael Nylander holding penalty cut into the Capitals' power-play time.
Washington opened the scoring 4:21 into the game when Fedorov, battling Flames defenceman Marc Giordano in front of the Flames net, neatly deflected in Jeff Schultz's slapshot from the blue-line.
Notes: Sloan made his NHL debut after 406 games in the minors. A Calgary native, Sloan's brother and parents were among the friends and family in the crowd. Ironically, Sloan's father Fred had just flown back after having driven 36 hours from Calgary to Hershey, Pa. on the weekend to drop off Tyler's car and watch him play in an AHL game. Instead, Sloan got recalled by Washington to join the Flames in Calgary. ... Alexander Semin's five-game points streak came to an end (six goals, four assists). ... Calgary C Daymond Langkow (+1) and RW Andre Roy (+1) entered the night as the only Flames in positive figures in plus-minus. ... Washington LW Donald Brashear returned to the line-up after missing two games with an injured hand. ... Calgary's last win on home ice versus Washington was Mar. 26, 1998.