Turek-Less Flames Tame the Wild

Iginla Bursts Goal Drought in Win

October 21st, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Break 'em up and they break loose?

That's more or less the game story from Minnesota where the Calgary Flames emerged with a 3-2 victory over their Northwest division rival Minnesota Wild.

Reinprecht Lombardi Iginla
Saprykin Conroy Clark
Gelinas Yelle Donovan
McAmmond Betts Kobasew
Montador Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener

Busting loose may appear to be a huge stretch at first blush when you gaze at a scoreboard with five combined goals, but for a team with only five goals in four games coming in, three represents somewhat of a landslide.

What's more important in this outcome is who scored the goals as coach and general manager's line switch up seemed to ignite at least two of the club's top three expected point producers.

Jarome Iginla, skating on a line with the club's story of October, Matthew Lombardi, picked up a goal in the second period and was on the ice when Lombardi notched one himself.

Meanwhile former MCI left winger Dean McAmmond, skating on the club's deemed fourth line which really amounts to line 3C, assisted on the game winner when Chuck Kobasew managed his second of the season in the third period.

The game acted as a valium to a club that was likely wallowing in some pregame despair when they learned that their number one stopper, Roman Turek, was lost for as many as four weeks after suffering a knee strain on Saturday night.

Backup goaltender Jamie McLennan got the natural start in his absence, and while he did see his shut out string snapped at just over 100 minutes, he picked up his third win of the season - one more than he achieved all of last season.

The game marked the first tangible appearance by Steve Reinprecht, with the center maimed throughout camp, only seeing a few minutes of action before injuring his shoulder once again in a game in Edmonton.

He went coast to coast in this one, earning 15 minutes of ice time, and three shots on goal. Reinprecht skated on the club's most successful line which consisted of slumping star Jarome Iginla and rookie to watch Matthew Lombardi. The trio combined for five shots and three scoring points.

Iginla's goal incidentally, his first of the season, came on only one shot.

From here the Flames come back home to face the limping St. Louis Blues (up 5-3 on the Edmonton Oilers at the Sky Reach Center at press time), before traveling to Edmonton for a late game on Saturday night.

The club moved back above the .500 mark, sitting 3-2-0 on the season, and 1-1-0 on the road after dropping their first game in white at Vancouver to open the season.






1) Matthew Lombardi - The club's new number one center? For this night anyway. Lombardi was the man in the middle and did the trick in assisting on slumping star Jarome Iginla's first, then popped his first NHL goal for good measure.

2) Andrei Zyuzin - Former bolt was in on both Wild goals, matching Lombardi's output.

3) Sean Donovan - Late season pickup from March 2003 continues to show he's found a new home. Had five shots and went to the night on every single shift in this one.

The Flames once again kept the opposition to a limited amount of shot on goal as Minnesota only managed 20 against Jamie McLennan on the night. They came into the game with a 20.5 shots against average and moved that mark to, well, 20.4 ... Interesting to note that Rhett Warrener led the club in ice time with 24:16, as Warrener was the sixth of six defenceman in ice time coming into the game with only 17 + minutes per night. Other players that bested the 20 mark included Minnesota native Jordan Leopold with 23:10, Robyn Regehr had 22:04, Lydman with 21:42, and Jarome Iginla with 21:17. Game star Andrei Zyuzin had almost 27 minutes for the Wild. ... The Wild scored one powerplay goal in five attempts which will actually improve the Flames penalty killing rating on the season. The Flames came up empty but only had two chances to show for their evening. ... With three goals on the night the Flames goals per game average hops from 1.25 to 1.60 good for a seven spot hike in the overall NHL grid. The team's goals against average will hold strong at 2.00. ... Hopefully Darryl Sutter has his eye on the bottom line when it comes to Chuck Kobasew. The invisible winger now has two goals in five games despite being almost a phantom on the ice for large stretched of each game. Two in five translates to a cool 32 goals over an 82 game schedule. ... Speaking of kids, one has to wonder if it's still the preseason when you notice the team is led by Matthew Lombardi in points with three, followed by Saprykin, Kobasew and Blair Betts all tied with two points with a few other players.


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