Flames stay alive in playoff chase

BY foxsports • April 1, 2011

Jarome Iginla's 1,000th career point helped the Calgary Flames stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race.

Iginla scored his second goal of the game with 5:03 left, a wrist shot from inside the right circle that broke a tie in the Flames' 3-2 comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

Iginla became the 77th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points.

''When I started, I never would have thought of that and it wasn't something I was thinking about year in and year out or anything like that until maybe the last few,'' Iginla said. ''It just makes me reminisce and how much fun it's been and how fortunate I've been to play as long as I have.''

Iginla also had an assist. He has 39 goals and 41 assists in 79 games this season and 480 goals and 520 assists in 1,103 career regular-season games - all for the Flames.

The 33-year-old star has no designs to wrap up his career any time soon.

''I still want to play a lot longer but I've definitely been fortunate so far to and to play with as many good players and have the opportunity,'' Iginla said. ''It just makes me think back and I definitely feel blessed and fortunate.''

Alex Tanguay added a goal and two assists, and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 25 shots as Calgary remained three points behind Chicago in the race for final Western Conference playoff spot.

David Backes had a goal and an assist, Matt D'Agostini also scored, and Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists for the Blues, eliminated from playoff contention when Chicago beat Columbus 4-3 in a shootout.

All the talk in the Blues' room was losing a third-period lead and Iginla.

''He's a guy that seems to, in the third period especially, find that extra gear and really make us pay,'' said Backes, whose 100th career goal was overshadowed by Iginla's feat. ''When he's on the ice, we need awareness of that.''

The Blues built up a 2-0 lead on D'Agostini's power-play goal in the first and Backes' team-leading 29th of the season in the second.

''We played a great game for the first two periods,'' Shattenkirk said. ''They started to gain a little momentum back at the end of the second period there. I think we just didn't come out the way we needed to in the third period.''

Iginla started Calgary's comeback when he roofed a shot past Jaroslav Halak late in the second, and the Flames completed their comeback with two goals in the third.

Tanguay sprung Iginla loose when the Blues' Nikita Nikitin slipped in the Flames' zone. Iginla took Tanguay's pass neat center ice, raced into the Blues' zone and beat Halak, who stopped 22 shots, low to the blocker side.

''It's something I will remember,'' Iginla said. ''I've really enjoyed playing with (Tanguay), so it's kind of nice that he was able to assist on it. Man, time has flown like it's been a lot of years, but it's been a lot of fun.''

Added Tanguay, ''As far as Jarome's game, what a performer he's been to be able to get to 1,000 points in this day and age. It's not like 20 years ago where the goal-scoring was seven or eight per game. This is a tighter NHL and to be able to find the consistency year after year, to put up points and score goals, I think it goes to show what type of player he is and the type of athlete he is. It's certainly fun to watch him play.''

NOTES: Both teams welcomed back injured players Friday. The Flames got back C Daymond Langkow (Broken neck), who saw his first game in more than a year. D Barret Jackman (broken index finger) and LW Alex Steen (ankle sprain) returned for the Blues. Both missed 10 games. ... Iginla has 67 points in 56 career games against the Blues. ... Flames D Jay Bouwmeester currently holds the NHL's longest ironman streak after playing in his 503rd game. ... Shattenkirk extended his career-high points streak to six games. ... D'Agostini has 13 points in 11 games.