Tanguay set up both of Iginla’s goals Wednesday night as the Calgary Flames scored twice early and then twice late to win 4-1 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Iginla has points in eight of the last nine games – five goals, seven assists – and leads the Flames with 11 goals. Tanguay has notched 10 assists in the past six games.
“We knew we were going to click at some point and now it’s starting to come,” said Tanguay, who was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last June in a trade for defenceman Jordan Leopold.
The tandem exhibited their new found chemistry on the opening goal 7:38 into the first period.
On a power-play, Tanguay feathered a pass across to the Flames captain who one-timed a 40-foot slapshot past Nikolai Khabibulin.
“That pass he gave me on the first goal, my eyes lit up. It was right in the middle of where you want it,” said Iginla.
Iginla then shot it right where he wanted it.
“If you give Iggy the puck in the slot like that, he’s not going to miss too many times. That shot was so hard it almost went through the net,” Tanguay said.
Iginla’s second of the night came into an empty net with 37 seconds left.
Matthew Lombardi and Tony Amonte also scored for Calgary (10-8-2), posting their fifth straight home ice victory. The Flames have won seven of their last eight.
“The win feels good, especially after last night and playing back-to-back,” said Iginla, whose seven-game scoring streak along with the club’s six-game winning streak were both snapped Tuesday night in Calgary’s 2-1 loss in Edmonton.
“When you play back-to-back, you never have the same jump you had the night before. We knew we had to minimize their chances and we felt we did a good job of that,” Iginla said. “On the offensive side, we took care of our chances. It’s nice to win the second one of back-to-back games.”
Tuomo Ruutu scored the lone goal for Chicago (7-11-2). Ruutu has scored in each of the Blackhawks’ last three games after missing the first ten games of the season with a sprained knee. The Blackhawks are 1-2-1 on their five-game road trip, which they wrap up Friday night in Edmonton.
Entering the night with a 15-2-2 career record against Calgary, Khabibulin got the start for Chicago and dominated the Flames early on.
Thanks in part to three consecutive power plays to open the game, the Flames piled up a 9-1 edge in shots before the game was seven minutes old. However, the score remained 0-0 as Khabibulin stymied Calgary shooters time and time again.
The Blackhawks would not survive their fourth penalty though with Iginla opening the scoring.
“When you compound penalties like that, you over play certain players and it takes you time to get the momentum back and that wasn’t our plan but it happened because we kept turning over the puck and that’s been our nemesis all year,” said Chicago coach Trent Yawney.
Calgary increased its lead to 2-0 at 14:57 when Patrick Sharp’s attempted breakout pass was intercepted by Huselius, who set up Lombardi at the side of the net.
“That was a pretty big game for us and we didn’t get that win,” said Khabibulin. “They lost a big game last night and they wanted to come back and win and for some reason we didn’t play 60 minutes.”
Calgary led 2-1 after the first period and the score remained that way until Amonte ended the drought at 8:46 of the third converting Byron Ritchie’s pass.
Khabibulin (5-4-0) finished with 36 saves in his third game since returning from a broken finger.
Miikka Kiprusoff (10-8-1) made 25 saves for the Flames.
Notes: – Huselius had an assist to extend his points streak to five games (four goals, two assists)… Calgary D Andrei Zyuzin did not play after taking a shot off the foot Tuesday night in Edmonton. Rookie Mark Giordano took his spot … Chicago RW Carl Corazzini made his season debut after being recalled from Norfolk (AHL) on Monday and had an assist… … It was Kiprusoff’s 76th win as a Flame tying him with Phil Myre on the franchise all-time wins list. Kiprusoff trails Mike Vernon (259), Dan Bouchard (168), and Rejean Lemelin (144).