CALGARY – Curtis Glencross thought it was about time the Calgary Flames caught a couple of breaks.
Glencross had a goal and three assists and the Flames beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 on Tuesday.
“Any time you can get some breaks and bounces go your way, it’s kind of nice for a change,” Glencross said. “We’ve been on the other hand of that. We’ll take ’em when we can get ’em.”
Jarome Iginla scored his 501st career goal and set up two others for the Flames (20-19-5), who have won seven straight on home ice and have gone 9-0-1 in their last 10 games at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Hopefully we can bottle that up and bring it on the road,” said forward Lee Stempniak, who finished with a goal and an assist. “We’d like to see some more consistency on the road and play with the same mentality and see the same results.”
Jay Bouwmeester also had a goal and an assist for Calgary, while Cory Sarich and T.J. Brodie also scored. Olli Jokinen and Mikael Backlund chipped in with two assists each.
Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk each had a goal and an assist for the Devils (23-17-2), whose winning streak ended at two games. Patrick Elias also scored, while Zach Parise had two assists.
“We were flat in the first,” Henrique said. “We made a few mistakes, myself included on the third goal. You can’t fall asleep for 20 minutes here. We dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t get out of tonight.”
Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 35 saves, including 20 in the third period to preserve the victory.
“Kipper played great tonight,” Stempniak said. “We needed him to. We sat back on our heels and they had some really good chances. He made some big saves and we had timely scoring tonight.”
Martin Brodeur started in net for the Devils, but was pulled at the 7:32 mark of the opening frame after allowing two goals on five shots. Johan Hedberg made just five saves in a relief appearance and ended up taking the loss.
“I think if I have a better game, we win this one,” Hedberg said. “I don’t think it was a very good night. If I think I can hide behind bouncing pucks…then I’m cheating myself and I’m cheating my teammates. My job is to stop the puck and I didn’t do that. I’m going to take it upon myself to be better and try to correct whatever I can and come back strong tomorrow.”
The Devils will play the third of a four-game road trip in Edmonton against the Oilers on Wednesday.
Bouwmeester gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 5:54 when his wrist shot through traffic found its way into the net behind Brodeur. It was Bouwmeester’s first goal in 39 games.
“Any time you score is good,” Bouwmeester said. “I don’t have too many of those. I’ll take it.”
Less than two minutes later, Sarich skated across the blue-line and fired a slap shot over Brodeur’s blocker and into the top corner. It was Sarich’s first goal since March 23, 2011, and ended a 33-game goalless drought for the veteran defenceman.
“Flying down the wing, going for the puck, didn’t break stride and just blasted one by him,” Sarich said. “He didn’t even move. Well, barely. It was just a shot on net that found a hole and I’m excited it went in.”
Hedberg didn’t fare much better in the New Jersey net as he let in the first shot he faced. Olli Jokinen fed a nice backhanded cross-crease pass over to Glencross, who snapped a quick shot off Hedberg’s skate and into the net.
Brodie then rifled a point shot past Hedberg on a Calgary man advantage to give the Flames a commanding 4-0 lead through one period.
After Kovalchuk scored his team-leading 16th goal for the Devils at 14:48 of the second, Stempniak wired a shot from the slot through Hedberg’s legs to put the Flames back up by four.
With the Devils killing a penalty late in the second, the Devils pulled to within three when Henrique finished off a two-on-one by converting a feed from Parise.
The Devils continued to press in the third period and were rewarded when Elias one-timed a pass from Kovalchuk by Kiprusoff during a New Jersey power play.
It took the Flames nearly nine minutes to get their first shot of the third period, but Iginla made the shot count as he fought for possession of the puck in the slot before snapping a shot past Hedberg.
“We were turning things around,” Henrique said. “I felt like we had the momentum and then again they come back and they scored another goal. Late in the game like that, it’s tough. We were putting pressure on them. I thought if we played like that for the full 60 minutes, it might have been a different outcome.”
Notes: Stempniak, who the Flames acquired in the off-season from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Daymond Langkow, played in his 500th career NHL game.…Calgary forward Rene Bourque served the third game of his five-game suspension for elbowing Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom to the head during a 3-1 road loss to the Capitals on Jan. 3.…Iginla fought Henrique in the first period. According to hockeyfights.com, it was the first fight of Henrique’s career and Iginla’s 52nd in the regular season.