Iginla had a goal and three assists as Calgary defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-4 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
The goal was Iginla’s 21st of the season but first in six games.
“That’s a huge win for us to get the momentum here at home and get the confidence back and just keep rolling now,” said Calgary left-winger Kristian Huselius, who scored two empty-net goals on setups from Iginla.
Daymond Langkow, Dion Phaneuf and Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary (18-14-4), which moved into a tie for first with the Minnesota Wild in the Northwest Division.
Lubomir Visnovsky scored twice for Los Angeles (14-21-5) while Craig Conroy and Alexander Frolov had the others.
Iginla opened the scoring at 5:39 of the first period on the power play. Iginla took a pass from Huselius, skated out of the corner and slid a shot under Kings’ goalie Barry Brust.
With the Flames up 2-1 early in the second and on a two minute two-man advantage, Iginla helped Calgary grab its first two-goal lead setting up Langkow’s goal at 2:54.
After Huselius’ first empty-net goal put Calgary up 5-2 with 1:21 remaining, the Kings scored two goals within a 30-second span to cut the Flames’ lead to 5-4. But Huselius cemented the victory with his second empty-net goal.
“The first two periods were good hockey for us,” said Iginla. “We were able to create chances and play well defensively and our power play was going.
“In the third period, any time a team is down, you know they’re going to have a push. They had a big push but the big thing is we found a way to win it.”
The Flames are 11-1-0 at the Pengrowth Saddledome since the beginning of November and will continue their six-game homestand Sunday night against Edmonton.
“We didn’t play well enough in the first two periods, we know that, that was a poor effort by us,” said Conroy. “We tried hard in the third but that’s the way we have to play for 60 minutes.
“For whatever reasons, we haven’t learned any of our lessons. We talk about it, we just haven’t been able to do it.”
The Kings entered the game ranked second-last in the NHL in penalty killing and Calgary took advantage, going 2-for-8 on the power play. Los Angeles has yielded 19 power-play goals over its last 11 games.
“It’s been one of our Achilles heel all year,” Conroy said. “Playing last night, we said at least let’s stay out of the box and make them earn it 5-on-5 and sure enough, we went out there and took a bunch of penalties and it cost us again.”
Trailing 2-0 late in the first, Los Angeles made it 2-1 on a strange goal. Mike Cammalleri mishandled Brent Sopel’s breakaway pass resulting in Miikka Kiprusoff racing out towards the loose puck. As Cammalleri chased it, Kiprusoff slid and from just inside the Flames blue-line kicked out his pad. However, the puck bounced off Visnovsky, flew back over Kiprusoff’s head where Visnovsky got it back from Cammalleri and fired it into the empty net.
“Sure we played a lot better in the third, but it’s too late, the game started 40 minutes earlier,” said Kings captain Mattias Norstrom. “Being on the road against a good team like the Flames, we can’t wait 40 minutes to put up our best effort.”
NOTES: Calgary D Andrei Zyuzin (groin) returned after missing six games while LW Jeff Friesen (hand) came back after missing four games . . . When he scored Wednesday night against Vancouver, Calgary LW David Moss joined Kent Nilsson (1979) and Dave Hindmarch (1981) as just the third player in Flames franchise history to score in his first three NHL games. Moss is one of eight players that began the year in Omaha (AHL) but have appeared in at least one game for Calgary this season . . . Calgary RW Chuck Kobasew has no goals in 12 games just one in his last 28.