CALGARY – Dustin Boyd doesn’t get to play alongside Calgary Flames superstar Jarome Iginla too often, so he took advantage when he got the chance.
The 22-year-old centre scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, to lead Calgary to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. After Toronto took the early lead on a goal from Alexei Ponikarovsky, Boyd tied it at 11:20 of the first period.
While retreating, rookie Toronto defenceman Luke Schenn whiffed on a bouncing puck. Todd Bertuzzi gathered the puck and sent a pass into the slot that Boyd one-timed past Vesa Toskala from 20 feet out.
Boyd then capped off his first career two-goal game at 11:13 of the third, making it 4-1 on a rebound of a Marc Girodano slapshot.
The three-goal lead would turn out to be pivotal as late goals by Nik Antropov and Matt Stajan, with 54 seconds remaining, set up an exciting finish.
“It’s just a matter of confidence,” said Boyd. “When you’re playing with confidence, you just go with the flow and good things happen. Tonight, I was lucky enough to play with Jarome and it was a good night. We created a lot of chances and moved the puck around well and we were strong defensively.”
Curtis Glencross manned the left side of the newly formed trio, which was together because regular first-line forward Mike Cammalleri was out with the flu.
With six goals this season, one short of the seven he notched in 48 games last year, Boyd is finally making the offensive impact that many expected from the third-round draft pick who scored 48 goals in his last year of junior hockey.
“Every level he’s been at, he’s always been a producer,” Iginla said. “Playing with him and seeing him at practice, he competes and you can see how bad he wants to be out there and be a scorer and counted on.”
Iginla and Dion Phaneuf also scored for Calgary (9-7-1). The Flames entered the night having lost four of their last five”.
As the Maple Leafs (6-6-4) kicked off their first road trip through Western Canada since January 2006, they were greeted by the usual sizable and noisy contingent of jersey-wearing supporters, which noticeably infiltrated all sections of the ‘sea of red’ typically formed by the sell-out crowd of 19,289.
It took just 10 seconds for the “Go Leafs Go” chants to start, quickly drowned out by cheers of “Go Flames Go”.
Toronto will play in Edmonton Thursday night before wrapping up the trip in Vancouver.
“Too many turnovers early in the game gave them the momentum,” said Toronto’s Ian White. “We started off really well and had them hemmed in and we had a bunch of chances but we ended up getting a little fancy and it turned on us.”
With the scored tied 1-1 in the first period, Iginla’s 10th goal of the season on a power play put the Flames in front at 12:46.
“In the second, we couldn’t get out of their zone, we had long shifts and we started to get a little tired and had no legs and we came up a little short at the end of the game,” said Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle. “We have to make sure, when we get the lead to play a little bit better defensively and play in their zone instead of our zone.”
Phaneuf made it 3-1 with just 32 seconds left in the second period, one-timing an Iginla set up.
Both Iginla and Phaneuf were considered questionable for Tuesday’s game. Phaneuf had a badly swollen eye, while Iginla suffered from a case of the flu that swept through the Flames dressing room during its two road losses on the weekend at Columbus and Chicago.
Iginla said the team had recovered and was ready to take on a Leafs team which has competed hard in most of its games.
“They’re a young team, they battled and kept pushing us right to the end but tonight, we were a lot more determined and ready to go then we definitely were on the weekend,” said Iginla.
After surrendering 12 goals in his past two starts, Kiprusoff rebounded with a strong effort making 29 saves to improve his record to 9-6-1.
Toronto struck first on Ponikarovsky’s power-play goal.
Impressive rookie Mikhail Grabovski assisted on Ponikarovsky’s goal, stretching his points streak to five games (six goals, three assists).
The final shot total was 32 apiece.
Notes: Toronto had entered the night having outshot the opposition 11 games in a row and having generated 35 or more shots in nine of its last 10… Cammalleri’s absence gave RW Andre Roy the chance to get back in the line-up after sitting out the past 12 games. The other new face in the line-up was D Adam Pardy. The Flames rookie, who appeared in just two of Calgary’s first 16 games, took the spot of D Jim Vandermeer, who broke a bone in his ankle in Chicago on Sunday and will be sidelined 6-8 weeks… Calgary RW Rene Bourque played in his 200th game… Toronto LW Jason Blake was a healthy scratch with rugged LW Ryan Hollweg inserted in his spot.