EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Fifteen games and nearly six months since his last goal, Jarome Iginla snapped out of his scoring drought in dramatic fashion Saturday night.
Iginla's power-play goal at 7:49 of the third period was the winner as the Flames scored three times in the third to rally past the Edmonton Oilers, 5-3.
After being stopped twice in a row by Nikolai Khabibulin on hard one-timers from the top of the faceoff circle, Calgary kept pressing on the 4 on 3 and eventually Alex Tanguay's clever pass set up Iginla at the side of the net for an easy tap-in.
``I think Tangs got sick of me missing those one-timers, so he decided to give me a 1-footer and I'll take it,' Iginla said. ``As it came right across the crease, my eyes got pretty big. I was pretty excited to see that one go in. Obviously, it's been a tough start as a team and definitely for me personally.'
Dating to last season, Iginla had no goals and four assists in his past 14 games before the two-point effort.
Tanguay scored twice for Calgary (2-2), which entered the night with just three goals for its first three games, having been shutout twice, including 4-0 in the opener in Edmonton.
The Flames' top line of Iginla, Tanguay and Olli Jokinen had been the subject of much scrutiny lately with all of them pointless through the first three games.
On Saturday, Flames coach Brent Sutter made a change moving Matt Stajan to center on the top line with Iginla and Tanguay and dropping Olli Jokinen to the second line with Brendan Morrison and Nicklas Hagman.
The moves paid off with the top trio combining for eight points, while Hagman and Morrison also scored.
``Each line, in this game, took turns contributing at big times,' Iginla said. ``We had huge PKs ... that game definitely feels like our most complete game of the year and something we can learn from and build on.'
Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Magnus Paajarvi scored for Edmonton (2-2-0). The Oilers have lost both of their road games this season and are 2-22-2 in their last 26 away from home dating to December.
``We just have to get pucks to the net and there's a price to pay beyond that,' Oilers coach Tom Renney said. ``We have to learn that and embrace it real quick if we're going to stay with the group.'
Penner said the Oilers didn't work hard enough on the power play or the penalty kill.
``We can't kill ourselves by going to the box, expelling energy on the PK,' Penner said. ``We have to make their PK guys work. Too often, it was one shot and out and that's not good enough.'
NOTES: After being a healthy scratch the first three games, Calgary D Cory Sarich played as rookie T.J. Brodie sat out. It was game No. 750 in Sarich's NHL career. ... It was the 1,500th game for linesman Mike Cvik, who was honored before the game. The 6-foot-9 Calgary native began his NHL officiating career in 1987.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved