CALGARY – Linemates Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri ended the year in fine fashion with career-high five-point performances.
“We just congratulated ourselves on both of our firsts,” said Cammalleri after both he and Iginla notched two goals and three assists during a 6-4 win for the Calgary Flames over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. “It was a lot of fun tonight for sure. I really enjoyed it and we are excited about the New Year.”
During his 12 seasons with the Flames, Iginla has had four points on 14 occasions, including twice this season, but had never reached the five-point plateau until he drew an assist on Cammalleri’s empty-net goal late in the third period.
“It feels good,” Iginla said. “It was a good way to end the year (with) a team effort and to beat the Oilers also for the first time this year.”
Adrian Aucoin and Dustin Boyd also scored for the Flames (22-11-4), who have won four in a row and have earned points in nine straight games. Craig Conroy and Daymond Langkow chipped in with two assists each.
“Our forward, they were flying,” said netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 28 saves to record his league-leading 22nd win of the season. “I think Iggy and those guys, they won this game here for us tonight.”
Denis Grebeshkov scored once and had three assists for the Oilers (17-16-3), who have lost two straight after reeling off three wins in a row.
“We played a pretty good game with the exception of our inability to be able to kill a penalty,” said Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish in regards to the Flames scoring three goals on five chances with the man advantage. “That’s killed us all year long. It killed us again tonight. We’ve got to find a way or find some new guys who can kill penalties.”
Robert Nilsson, Lubomir Visnovsky and Eric Cole also scored for the Oilers, while Sam Gagner had two assists.
“Eric Cole played exceptionally well,” MacTavish said. “He’s on top of his game, which is nice to see.”
Netminder Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 of 37 shots he faced to see his three-game winning streak come to an end.
The Oilers opened the scoring at 1:27 of the first period when Grebeshkov crept in off the point to swat a rebound past Kiprusoff.
Iginla then notched his 17th of the season to snap out of a five-game goal-scoring drought.
“It’s been awhile since I got one,” Iginla said. “That was a big boost.”
Nilsson put the Oilers back up by one with a power-play goal at 5:24 of the first period before the Flames responded with a goal during a man advantage of their own when Cammalleri one-timed a pass from Iginla past Roloson to tie the game at 2-2.
The see-saw battle continued in the second period as Visnovsky blasted a point shot through Kiprusoff’s legs early in the period before Aucoin scored on a two-man advantage for Calgary at 12:00.
Iginla put the Flames up 4-3 when he took a pass from Langkow and snapped a shot from the slot past Roloson during a power play at 5:50 of the third period to break a 3-3 deadlock.
Boyd then swatted a rebound past Roloson at 7:25 of the third before Cammalleri scored into an empty net to put the Flames up by three.
Cole added a late goal for the Oilers with eight seconds left in the game.
Notes: Since first hosting a New Year’s Eve game in 1987 at the Saddledome, the Flames have won 10 times, lost five and tied three against opposing teams. They have a 3-0-1 record against the Oilers. . . . Conroy now just needs one more point to reach the 500 mark for his career. . . . Forward Curtis Glencross returned to the Calgary lineup after missing six games with a knee injury, while Edmonton’s leading scorer Ales Hemsky missed his second game in a row with a broken nose.