CALGARY – Jarome Iginla used the struggling Blackhawks to wake up Calgary’s slumbering offence.
Iginla had a goal and an assist as the Flames defeated Chicago 3-1 on Friday to extended the Blackhawks winless streak to five games.
With just one goal in its previous two games, both home losses, Calgary got a two-goal cushion at 12:39 of the third period when Iginla was sent in alone by Alex Tanguay and beat Emery on a deke for his 19th of the year.
“It was really nice to see that one go in,”said Iginla, who had six shots and put another shot off a goal post.“As a team going into the third period in a tight game lately, we haven’t been able to seal it and tonight we were able to against a very good club.”
Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester and Olli Jokinen also scored for Calgary (24-22-6), which climbed back to within three points of the Minnesota Wild for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Brent Seabrook had the lone goal for the Blackhawks (29-17-7), who have gone seven straight road games without a win—their longest winless streak since the franchise-record 19-game swoon in 2003-04.
Miikka Kiprusoff earned NHL victory No. 299 with 26 saves. It was his 527th game as a Flame, moving him past Mike Vernon and into top spot on the Flames all-time list for goaltenders.
His best stop came early in the third as he sprawled to deny Viktor Stalberg from close-in as he burst in from off the wing in a bid for the tying goal.
“With the goalie we have, he gives us a chance to win every night so it’s not like we have to score four or five goals,” said Jokinen. “We’re pretty confident that if we score two goals, we have a pretty good chance to win.”
Calgary took advantage of a four-minute double minor for high-sticking on Michael Frolik to make it 2-1 at 18:56 of the second.
Mikael Backlund’s shot through a Blair Jones screen was kicked out by Emery but it went right to Bouwmeester, who fired in the rebound for his fourth goal.
Chicago were coming off a 8-4 drubbing the night before in Edmonton.
“I think stretches like this get your attention and as a team you learn from this,”said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.“We haven’t really had a challenge like this all year and it’s up to us to recapture how we felt earlier in the year and know what it takes to win.”
Chicago had the edge in play in the first period, outshooting Calgary 13-6, but the Flames turned the tables in the second holding a 16-6 edge in shots.
The Chicago defenceman admitted it’s not going to get any easier either.
“We have a tough division, the Central division, every team this year has a chance to make the playoffs and to be honest, has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,”said Seabrook.“It’s going to be a dog fight to make the playoffs and we’ve got to get rolling here.”
Emery, who had 29 stops, was excellent in net for the Blackhawks. His record falls to 11-4-2.
Calgary opened the scoring at 12:24 on Jokinen’s goal, though play carried on afterwards before video replay confirmed his wicked slapshot had gone off the bar at the back of the net.
Calgary, which had lost three straight games at home, kicks off a three-game road trip against the Pacific Division Monday night in Anaheim.
“We played pretty strong at home earlier, but then we had a couple losses here so we knew we had to turn it around and get back to our winning ways. It was a good win with a big road trip coming up,”Kiprusoff said.
Chicago will fly home for a brief stay before heading to Colorado, where they’ll continue a nine-game road trip on Tuesday night. So far, the Blackhawks are 0-2-1.
“We just have to work and play better as a group,”said Seabrook. “We had some chances but nobody’s going to give us a win here. We’ve got to go out there and take it, and fight for every two points.”
Krys Kolanos made his Flames debut after signing with Calgary on Wednesday. Kolanos had been playing with the Flames AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, where he was the team’s leading scorer.
Notes: Iginla’s goal was No. 403 in his career, tying him with Peter Bondra for 39th all-time…Kolanos played right wing on a line with Mike Cammalleri and Jones…It was the 137th career NHL game for Kolanos, who has seen NHL time previously with Phoenix, Edmonton and Minnesota…Flames RW Lee Stempniak (sprained ankle) did not play. He’ll be out of the line-up for six weeks…Chicago RW Andrew Brunette (upper body) missed his first game of the season.