CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jarome Iginla put his struggles behind and came up big for the Calgary Flames.
Coming in with just one goal this season and two in his last 28 games, Iginla had two tying goals and Curtis Glencross scored the winner 23 seconds after the second to lift the Flames to a 5-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday night
“It was a wacky game with a lot of different things,” Iginla said. “It felt great as a team to find a way not only to tie it but to see Glennie win it right before regulation was great.”
Iginla tied the score 4-4 with 1:23 remaining in the third period after a cross-ice pass from Alex Tanguay went off his stick then off his belly before trickling in.
With the Scotiabank Saddledome sell-out crowd still buzzing, Glencross took Lee Stempniak’s pass from the corner and one-timed a slapshot past Mike Smith from the top of the slot.
“When you get a win like that, late in the game, it’s huge for the mental part of the game,” Glencross said. “It’s rewarding for us and hopefully this puts a little wind under all of our sails and we keep going.”
Tim Jackman and Mike Cammalleri also scored for Calgary, which pulled two points behind Phoenix, San Jose, and Dallas for seventh place in the West.
Raffi Torres had two goals for Phoenix, and Michael Stone and Nick Johnson also scored.
The Coyotes trailed 3-2 after two periodsTorres tied the score 3-all at 2:22 of the third period. The Coyotes winger started the sequence with a nifty behind-the-back pass to defenseman Zbynek Michalek as he crossed the Flames’ blue line. Torres then raced for the net and buried Michalek’s return pass behind Joey MacDonald.
Nick Johnson put the Coyotes into the lead at 8:48, backhanding in a rebound from Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s point shot.
“We stopped playing. We came out with some authority in the third. In the first 15 minutes, we were taking it to them playing north, north, north hockey,” Torres said. “Then we got in trouble and we stopped playing and you can’t stop playing against those guys over there.”
Iginla then tied it for the second time late in period.
“That’s two games in a row that we had a lead and we gave it away. We came out and we were really good early in the third and got ourselves back in the game, but a couple key mistakes at the end cost us the game,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “We have to find a way to close these games out. That’s not who we are as a team. Very uncharacteristic of us.”
Trailing 1-0, the Coyotes tied it with a power-play score at 5:32 of the second on a tough break for Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who had Michael Stone’s point shot carom off defensive partner Mark Giordano in front and hit him in the skate as he tried to control it and bound straight into the net.
Torres put Phoenix ahead 5:59 remaining in the period as he got behind the Flames’ defense on a 2-on-2, was threaded a pass by Matthew Lombardi, and tucked a backhand behind MacDonald.
Iginla tied the score at 2-all with 3:34 to go, sliding a harmless-looking backhander toward the net and the puck slipped through Smith’s pads.
Cammalleri put the Flames ahead with 35 seconds left in the period. He took a centering pass from Glencross and fired a shot into the top corner of the net.
“The second period was definitely a bit different. A couple of weird penalties and just not a lot of flow to the game, everybody was a little riled up,” Stempniak said. “We came in, took a deep breath, and tried to channel that frustration and energy into the game and stuck with it. It was a great win for us and a testament to our mental toughness.”
After getting blanked on 30 shots by Smith last Tuesday, the Flames scored on the their first shot in this game.
Chris Butler’s shot didn’t make it through a crowd in front but Jackman collected it and, as he cruised by the net, he shovelled a backhand under Smith’s arm. It was Jackman first goal and point in 52 games dating back to Dec. 29, 2011.
NOTES: Calgary RW Akim Aliu (lower body) was injured in his season debut Saturday and was replaced in the lineup by Roman Cervenka. … Calgary LW Steve Begin played in his 500th career game. … Iginla’s two points give him 1,086 for his career, moving him within two points of Theo Fleury for 59th on the NHL’s career list.