CALGARY - Mike Cammalleri scored twice Friday night to lead the Calgary Flames to their fourth straight win, a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
After a lacklustre first period in which the teams combined for a meagre 11 shots, Calgary surged in front striking 20 seconds apart in the opening minute of the second period.
Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy set up Cammalleri near the face-off dot and he fired his team-leading 31st goal into the open side to make it 1-0.
The Flames went right back to the attack. Minnesota desperately attempted to clear the puck away from the front of the net but it went right to an unmanned Dion Phaneuf at the blue-line. With a crowd of bodies in front of goaltender Niklas Backstrom, the Flames defenceman ripped a wicked slapshot that got through untouched for his ninth goal of the season. It's the first time this year Phaneuf has scored in consecutive games.
Leading 3-0, Cammalleri notched his 32nd of the season at 14:39 of the third on a set up by David Moss. It was the only power-play goal of the night.
Jamie Lundmark also scored for Calgary (37-18-6), which has picked up points in each its last nine (7-0-2). The Flames opened the night in first place in the Northwest Division, 10 points up on the Vancouver Canucks.
Wild defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron spoiled Miikka Kiprusoff's shutout with 3:36 left.
Since coming into the league, Minnesota (30-25-5) has had a miserable time in Calgary. They are 3-17-4 all-time and 1-13-2 in their last 16 trips to the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Desperately clinging to a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Wild remain part of a pack of four teams tied for seventh place. One of the teams they're even with is the Edmonton Oilers, who the Wild play Saturday night in the second stop of its season-high six-game road trip.
The Wild noticeably missed the presence of former Flame and leading goal scorer Owen Nolan, who missed his second game with a broken toe.
It was most apparent when the Wild received a 1:31 two-man advantage in the first period with the game scoreless. Without the veteran setting himself up in the slot, the Wild failed to generate a shot on goal on that opportunity and would end up with just 16 shots on the game.
Calgary directed 29 shots at Backstrom.
Making the score 3-0 at 12:39 of the second was recent AHL call-up Lundmark, who scored his first goal of the season deflecting Cory Sarich's backhand.
Notes: Iginla's assists gives him 829 career points, one back of Theoren Fleury (830), Calgary's all-time leader. . . . Up from Quad Cities (AHL) to make his NHL debut for Calgary was LW David Van der Gulik. The 25-year-old was selected by the Flames 206th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. . . . Kiprusoff improves to 23-6-3 versus Minnesota for his career. He has the most wins against the Wild of any opposition goalie. . . . Sarich's assist was No. 100 for his career and No. 16 for the season tying his season-high for assists set in 2003-04 with Tampa Bay. . . . The Wild were beginning a 32-day stretch in which 14 of their next 17 games are on the road.