CALGARY – Missing six forwards due to injury, the Calgary Flames got a big night from captain Jarome Iginla and two big points in the standings.
Iginla scored his team-leading 26th and 27th goals as the slumping Calgary Flames built up a three-goal third period lead then hung on for a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, snapping a five-game home winless skid.
“We’ve been going through a tough stretch and sometimes when it goes like that, you just need to get that one to get over that hump,” said Iginla, who had his first multi-goal game since Dec. 10. “It’s not pretty but it’s still a very important win for us and breaks a bad streak at home and something to build on.”
Iginla’s second goal of the night with 1:18 left in the second period gave Calgary a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Darting down the wing, Iginla carried the puck behind the Canadiens net and tucked a shot inside the near goal post before goaltender Carey Price could get across.
“I haven’t actually had too many wrap-around goals. I can’t claim that that’s vintage but we’re all trying to put more to the net,” Iginla said.
Calgary remained in 11th spot in the tight Western Conference with 72 points. San Jose, Los Angeles and Colorado are tied for eighth spot with 74 points.
With seven regulars already sidelined, Calgary right-winger Tim Jackman (upper body) left the game after just one shift.
“It’s crazy. We come in the locker-room after the game and there’s almost more injured guys than there are guys in the line-up,” said Flames winger David Moss, who opened the scoring. “It’s something I’ve never seen in my career.”
Just back in the line-up himself, Moss missed 48 games with an ankle injury. His goal was his second of the season and first since Oct. 13 when he scored against the Canadiens in Montreal.
“You look at all the guys we have out of the line-up, you know that you’re going to get more ice time and have a bigger role,” Moss said. “It’s good, it gives guys a chance to step up and play more minutes and earn the ice time.”
Price had only himself to blame when Curtis Glencross scored the eventual game-winner at 7:16 of the third period. Price went behind the net and on his attempted backhanded clear, he put the puck right on the stick of Glencross, who buried his 23rd goal into the empty net to make it 5-2.
“We play hard in spurts and then we make mental errors that always cost us the game,” Price said. “That’s just the way it’s been going this year.”
Glencross has scored in five straight games and is one goal away from his career-high, set last year.
Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary (30-25-12). Max Pacioretty with a pair, Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller scored for Montreal (25-32-10). The Canadiens, kicking off a four-game road trip, have lost seven of their last eight.
Montreal made it close in the end on Eller’s goal at 8:57 of the third and Pacioretty’s second at 12:06, but they could not draw even.
“It was a game in which we did a lot of good things and a lot of bad things at the same time,” Eller said. “When you score four goals and when you throw pucks at the net and you do that stuff, we get the results. At the same time, we did a lot of things that weren’t good enough in our own end that gave it away.”
Despite being outplayed to that point, Montreal tied the game 2-2 at 9:28 of the second period when Pacioretty’s harmless-looking wrist shot from a sharp angle went in off Kiprusoff’s glove.
“That’s a one in a million on him,” Iginla said. “It is nice to give (Kiprusoff) some relief offensively as a group when every game we’re in lately it feels like we’ve been stuck at two goals or going to a shootout.”
Calgary regained the lead at 13:44 when Giordano ripped a wicked slapshot past Price, high on the glove side.
Calgary dominated the first period and were four seconds away from taking a 2-0 lead to the intermission before Plekanec was set up by a slick no-look backhand pass by Eller and scored into an empty net.
The Flames opened the scoring for the ninth game in a row when Moss deflected Giordano’s shot past Price at 10:06.
Just over two minutes later, Matt Stajan’s nifty pass off the boards set up Iginla.
Stajan, normally the team’s fourth line centre, found himself on the Flames top line Tuesday night due to the upper body injury suffered by former Canadien Mike Cammalleri in Sunday’s loss to Dallas.
Cammalleri was traded by Montreal to Calgary on January 12 in exchange for Rene Bourque. In his first game against his former team, Bourque was a non-factor with no points, no shots, and finishing a minus-2.
The final shots were 34-28 for the Flames, the first time in 15 games Calgary has outshot its opponent.
Notes: The two teams were missing a combined 15 players due to injury. Calgary’s total could grow to eight next game as RW Tim Jackman (upper body) left after being hit on his first shift of the game…Kiprusoff’s 305th career win ties him with Billy Smith for 23rd on the all-time list…Iginla’s 511 career goals is one back of Gilbert Perreault for 37th on the all-time list…Calgary’s fourth line was consisted of players recalled from Abbotsford (AHL) on Sunday–C Greg Nemisz, LW Krys Kolanos and RW Guillaume Desbiens…Calgary LW Tom Kostopoulos played in career game No. 600.