A Natural on Broadway

Rick Charlton

March 4th, 2002

You might forgive Jarome Iginla for looking through his pocket schedule to see how he might wangle another showdown with Mike Richter.

It was only eight days ago that Iginla hammered two shots past Richter in Canada's 5-2 Gold medal triumph at Salt Lake City.

And last night Iginla poured it on again, blistering three shots past the hapless Richter at Madison Square Garden while adding an assist in leading his Calgary Flames to a 5-3 triumph over the Rangers.

In his only two games against Richter this year, the record will show Iginla racked up five goals and two assists. The points last night allowed the budding Flames superstar to extend his lead atop the NHL points standings with 72 points, six more than runner-up Markus Naslund of Vancouver. Iginla also leads all NHL goal-scorers with 39 markers.

Calgary will probably find no better foil on this Odyssey-like nine game road trip than the Rangers. One dimensional and defensively soft if not atrocious, New York will typically have their every deficiency exposed against any team playing a strong counterattack game.

Particularly if Richter is having an off-night.

The victory allowed Calgary to move two games over .500 with a record of 26-24-9-3 and stay within three points of Edmonton, the latter now tied with Vancouver and Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Flames have two games in hand on Edmonton and one on Vancouver.

Face Offs Hits
powerplay Chances Shots on Goal

Calgary has won three in a row for the first time since Nov. 3 and are undefeated in four games since the Olympic break.

But another eight games on the road beckon.

Richter might have suspected he was in for a long night when Chris Clark opened scoring only 1:40 in, drifting a nice shot that Richter was clearly unprepared for.

Radek Dvorak tied the game on the powerplay at the four minute mark on a nifty Brian Berard pass. But Conroy pounded a one timer from the slot off an Iginla pass through Richter at 8:54 to give the Flames a 2-1 first period lead.

Manny Malhotra - remember the Flames taking Rico Fata one spot ahead of the Rangers in the 1998 draft - brought the Rangers even on a partial breakaway at 12:24 of the second.

But Iginla took over from there, scoring only 12 seconds later with a deadly snapshot from the slot that went through Richter's legs. Iginla padded the Flames lead at 19:26 of the second then completed his first career hat trick - after 23 two goal games in his career - with a blast from the right side that whistled through Richter's legs yet again at 2:35 of the third.

Michael Grosek scored halfway through the third to make the contest interesting with the Rangers buzzing around Calgary starter Roman Turek through to the final buzzer.

Other victims of the Iginla, Craig Conroy and Marc Savard trio were Vladimir Malakhov and Brian Leetch, both badly outplayed and a minus three and four respectively on the night.

Dave Lowry left the game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, the extent of which was unknown at press time.

Flames were zero for four on the powerplay while the Rangers scored once on four powerplay chances.

Flames outshot the Rangers 34-31 - including a wide open second period with shots 16-11 in favour of the Flames.

Attendance was the obligatory 18,200 at MSG.

Next up is the much more challenging Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. Flames, by the way, took the train to Washington from New York.





Calgary Flames 5
New York Rangers 3

Box Score


Savard Conroy Iginla
McAmmond Niedermayer Clark
Begin Wilm Petrovicky
Lowry Shantz Berube
Morris Regehr
Gauthier Lydman
Boughner Kravchuk


1) Jarome Iginla - a dominating performance with four points in the media capital of the world. Don Meehan must have been rubbing his hands together with glee. 

2) Craig Conroy - three points and a plus four. Good thing he's signed for another two years. 

3) Marc Savard - three points and a plus four. That's right - Savard was a plus four. Maybe both feet are out of the doghouse now.


With seconds left in the game and Iginla gaping at an empty net - literally as Richter was on the bench - Brian Leetch slid into the shooting alley and deprived Iginla of a fourth goal.


You know NHL hit stats are inconsistent - if not fraudulent - around the league when the hit total in this game was 23-4 favouring the Rangers after two periods. Four hits for the Flames in 40 minutes? In the end, the hit count ended up at 31-18 favouring the Rangers although that would probably have surprised pretty much everyone in the building. Tomas Kloucek was credited with eight hits while Dean McAmmond led the Flames with four. . . . . . . Turek's 25th win of the year moved him into a temporary tie with Patrick Roy for seventh spot in the NHL. Roy was playing later in the evening. . . . . . . Theo Fleury went pointless for the first time in six meetings against the Flames, his former team . . . . . Rob Niedermayer played for the first time in 18 games, logging an impressive 20:54 in ice time between McAmmond and Clark. Interestingly, a few weeks ago the Flames second line were all on the sidelines with injuries. . . . . . .Flames were slaughtered in the face-off circle, with Petr Nedved leading the way with 71% and the Rangers were 63% on the night. Conroy and Clark Wilm were the best of the Flames in the face-off circle, only 47% each. . . . . . A key stat from the game - Denis Gauthier, Derek Morris, Igor Kravchuk and Derek Morris had three blocked shots each. . . . .. . Morris led the Flames with 26:54 in ice time while while Brian Leetch was 26:56 for the Rangers. . . . . . . Ex-Flame Sandy McCarthy and wife Isabelle are expecting their third child. . . . . .