Calgary coach Brent Sutter recently asked for more from captain Jarome Iginla, and that’s what Sutter got.
Iginla scored a power-play goal at 1:25 of overtime – his second goal of the game – to give the Flames a 3-2 comeback victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
“Certainly Jarome’s game was good, and not just because he scored two goals,” Sutter said. “He’s a big, strong guy that gets in there in areas where he’s hard to retain.”
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Iginla scored four times Calgary‘s first dozen games, not bad, but Sutter expects big numbers from a player who had 85 goals in the previous two seasons.
“We’ve been talking a lot as a group about bringing our compete level up, and we really battled tonight,” Iginla said. “It was a step in the right direction.”
Daymond Langkow tied it for the Flames with 49 seconds left in regulation and goalie Curtis McElhinney on the bench for an extra attacker. Iginla passed in front to Langkow, who backhanded the puck past Marty Turco.
Dallas drew a delay of game penalty at 1:09 of overtime when defenseman Nicklas Grossman was whistled for shooting the puck out of the rink – a call disputed by Stars coach Marc Crawford.
The Flames needed only 16 seconds to capitalize when Iginla fired a shot from the left point that got past Turco, who was screened by Calgary‘s Olli Jokinen.
“The overtime didn’t really last very long, and it’s somewhat frustrating because it didn’t look like it was a penalty,” Crawford said.
Iginla didn’t even know he’d scored through a crowd until he was mobbed by teammates.
“In overtime and 4-on-3, you’re just trying to set up the umbrella,” Iginla said. “I could see Olli in front. I was thinking if I just got it by him, it could have a chance to go in. I didn’t even see how it went.”
McElhinney, the backup to Miikka Kiprusoff, made 38 saves and stopped a second-period penalty shot in his second start of the season and 21st NHL game. Kiprusoff sat out because of illness.
“He hasn’t played in a while, and he stood tall tonight and he was rewarded for it,” Sutter said. “He had a great effort.”
Turco, back after missing two games due to flu-like symptoms, stopped 19 shots.
Loui Eriksson gave Dallas a 2-1 lead at 8:52 of the third period, skating to the net and tapping in Brad Richards‘ centering pass.
Dallas’ Brenden Morrow was awarded a penalty shot at 12:26 of the second period after he was hooked to the ice on the way to the net by Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano, but Morrow’s wrist shot was easily steered aside by McElhinney to keep the game scoreless.
Iginla put the Flames in front at 15:53 of the second period with a wrist shot from the right circle.
McElhinney had a strong second period, stopping all 16 shots he faced.
Dallas’ James Neal tied it 1 at 4:49 of the third period.
The Stars had far more scoring chances than the Flames, but that was little consolation for a team that has gone to overtime seven times, winning once.
“We did what we wanted to do against Calgary; we got the puck behind the defense, we really exposed the defense,” Crawford said. “I thought they were on their heels the better part of the night. We generated a number of power play opportunities. I thought we were the better club in terms of chances generated by a long shot.”
Forwards Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen were back in the Dallas lineup after each missed extensive time with injuries. Modano, the career scoring leader among U.S.-born players, sat out 13 games because of a rib injury, and Lehtinen was out for nine games with abdominal soreness.
NOTES: Each of McElhinney’s starts this season have come against Dallas. The Stars were 5-2 winners at Calgary on Oct. 9 in the first meeting between the teams. … Stars D Karlis Skrastins had two assists. … Both teams had been off since Saturday night. … Calgary D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 355th consecutive game, the league’s longest active streak. Bouwmeester assisted on Iginla’s winner.