Iginla scores 500th career goal as flames beat wild
CALGARY -- Jarome Iginla scored the 500th goal of his NHL career Saturday to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Scoreless into the third period, Lance Bouma's first NHL goal put the Flames ahead at 2:02 before Iginla sent the sold-out Scotiabank Saddledome crowd into a frenzy at 8:33.
The Flames captain came down the right wing and sent a pass in front that went off the skates of two Minnesota players and in past Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom to give Calgary a 2-0 lead.
There was a brief pause at as fans wondered if another Flames player had deflected the puck home.
But the crowd erupted soon after into a standing ovation and every Calgary player spilled off the bench to congratulate Iginla.
Chants of "Iggy, Iggy" soon filled the building and as the ovation continued, Iginla stood up on the bench and acknowledged the crowd with a wave. He took another skate around the arena after the game, again acknowledging the crowd, after being named the game's first star.
Curtis Glencross with his team-leading 17th goal also scored for Calgary (19-19-5).
Dany Heatley replied for Minnesota (21-15-6), breaking Miikka Kiprusoff's shutout bid with less than seven minutes left.
Bouma's goal came after Backstrom stopped Lee Stempniak's shot from the right wing with his blocker. The puck caromed right out to Bouma breaking in from the left wing and the 21-year-old fired it into the open side.
The goal snapped a scoreless streak of over 128 minutes for the Flames.
Bouma, recalled earlier in the day from Abbotsford of the AHL to replace injured Brendan Morrison, was playing his first game of the year for the Flames. He appeared in 16 games for Calgary last year.
With the building still buzzing after the Iginla goal, Glencross scored at 11:15 to make it 3-0 to put the Flames well on their way to a much-needed victory.
Heatley scored at 13:41 but the Wild would get no closer as Calgary outshot Minnesota 36-28.
The game featured a pair of struggling teams with both of the Northwest Division clubs reeling of late.
The Flames were 0-4-1 in the final five games of their season-long seven-game road trip, including a 9-0 drubbing by the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. The injury-riddled club currently has eight players sidelined and are also without were without Rene Bourque, who served the second game of his five-game suspension.
The Wild entered the night with just one victory in their last 11, including a winless skid of six (0-5-1) away from home.
Calgary had not been at home since Dec. 23, having vacated the Scotiabank Saddledome to accommodate the world junior hockey championships. But with the win, the Flames are 7-0-1 in their last eight games at home.
Notes: Minnesota D Clayton Stoner (groin) returned after missing five games. ... With D Scott Hannan out of the lineup Clay Wilson made his season debut after being called up from Abbotsford. ... Of the injured, D Mark Giordano (hamstring) is back practising and considered the closest to returning. Hurt on Nov. 29, Giordano has missed 20 games. ... Also in the lineup for Calgary was C Blair Jones, acquired Friday in a trade with Tampa Bay. ... Brent Sutter collected his 100th win as Flames coach. ... Kiprusoff's 294th victory ties him with Mike Liut for 28th all-time.
Congrats Iggy on 500 goals and being the best player this franchise has ever had.