Flames A Perfect Ten

Win Moves Calgary 10 Games Over .500

February 15th, 2004

When the tents came down in Minnesota, a successful all star game behind them the Western Conference was a clouded mess.

Four teams tied for spots six through nine, two others charging to get into the group, and the Calgary Flames nervously stuck in the middle, hoping to find a solid chair when the music comes to a stop in early April.

What a time for a streak.

The Calgary Flames added to their new found standings cushion by winning their fourth straight game, once again by that all familiar 2-1 final score, spoiling a playoff chase for the all star hosts, the Minnesota Wild.

The victory matched the Flames best win streak of the season, and moves the club a full ten games over .500 for the first time this season, and for the first time in 11 years if you look back far enough.

The Flames played a picture perfect road game this afternoon, scoring twice on the powerplay - a first period marker by Jarome Iginla, and a third period game winner by Robyn Regehr - and only allowing 16 shots.

Truth be known they only generated 16 shots of their own, but the club played the style of game they have to play in order to find points in tough barn on this five game road trip.

The Iginla strike, his 29th of the season, was a back breaker coming in the last minute of the first period. He moves to within two goals of league leader Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Wild tied the score on an unfortunate bounce for Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff, as a long shot by Sergei Zholtov appeared to hit a skate in front of the net and careen by the Calgary keeper. He was solid the rest of the way keeping the opposition to two or less goals for the 18th time in his 19 Calgary starts.

Midway through the third period, Jordan Leopold was pulled down coming out of his own zone, an infraction that sent the Flames to the powerplay.

Robyn Regehr fired a screen shot past former Flame Dwayne Roloson off a perfect feed from Dean McAmmond, a goal that moved the Flames to two for six with the man advantage on the night.

For Regehr the goal was his third of the season, a new career high for a guy that went 101 games between goals.

"You guys will have to get on me more often", he told the Fan 960.

"A lot of guys were banged up and tired with that schedule through January. We all took the time to get some rest and come back focused on this last stretch of games. We're excited about the challenge".

The win gives the Flames some breathing room for 5th place in the Western Conference, as they now sit a full four points ahead of the Dallas Stars. The LA Kings picked up a point for losing in overtime this afternoon, moving into a tie with the Stars. If the Predators hold on to beat the Oilers they too will be locked with the Kings and Stars, all four points back of the Flames.

Calgary has a six point bulge on a playoff spot, and a magic number of 22.

Next up for the Flames is another road date in Montreal to play the Canadiens on Thursday night.





1 Jarome Iginla - Scores his 29th of the season on a first period powerplay moving to within two of the league lead.  

2 Sergei Zholtov - Tied the game for the Wild in the second period. 

3 Miikka Kiprusoff - Stellar though he only faced 16 shots on the night.

Miikka Kiprusoff simply stoned Minnesota winger Alexander Daigle midway through the first period when he quickly moved across the crease and took a sure goal away on a Wild two on one.

Two points are crucial in any game this season, but by beating the Wild the Flames essentially drove a stake through the heart of another chasing team. The loss puts the Wild 11 points behind the Flames with only 23 games left to play. Similarly, if the Oilers lose to the Predators this afternoon, they will fall a full 13 points behind Calgary. ... Essentially the Flames need to distance themselves from only one more team. ... And looking up ... the Flames are now incredibly only four points behind the Vancouver Canucks for fourth spot in the conference and hold a game in hand. On Friday afternoon they were eight points back, not bad work for a weekend. ... Jarome Iginla is now on a 42 goal pace. ... I think most would have judged a .500 record on this trip would be more than fine with the Flames haven given themselves some breathing room before departing. That makes this win in Minnesota so huge with the club now needing only three points in the final four games. ... Steve Reinprecht extended his assist and point strings to four games with a helper on Iginla's goal. ... After an ugly stretch with the powerplay the Flames have scored four goals in 17 chances in their last three wins. They haven't scored an even strength goal since Iginla's game winner in Vancouver. ... The Flames are only two points out of the league's overall top ten list. ... The Flames won 54% of the draws in the game after getting beat up by the Ducks on Friday. ... Dean McAmmond, Matthew Lombardi and Craig Conroy all had solid games with 58, 55 and 53% respectively.

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