Iggy in the zone -- in both zones

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

The three-goal, four-point performance Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla racked up against the Minnesota Wild was a sight to behold.

Probably the most crucial play Iginla made in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 victory, however, was about 180 feet away from the opposition net.

Just a couple of minutes into the clash, the Flames were on the verge of losing the lead they claimed on Rene Bourque's goal just 19 seconds into the affair.

Minnesota's Guillaume Latendresse was driving to the net and poised to redirect a cross-ice pass, but Iginla backchecked with all his might and lifted the Wild forward's stick at the last second to squash the chance.

The Flames immediately went to the other end and Mark Giordano scored to increase a lead that wouldn't be relinquished.

"Fortunate," Iginla said of the defensive play and subsequent goal he assisted.

"I happened to lift his stick without getting a penalty, and fortunately, we were able to turn it around and get a good transition off that. We made a few passes, and all of a sudden, Gio made it a four-on-three.

"Those ones feel good as a group."

Good feelings were all around the Flames dressing room.

They won two straight for just the second time since their five-game winning streak that ended in early January.

New backup goaltender Vesa Toskala stopped 27 shots in his Flames debut.

And they scored five goals for the second straight game, led by Iginla's 10th career hat-trick, which puts him in the 30-goal category for the ninth straight season.

Iginla is known as the Wild killer for his career exploits against Calgary's Northwest Division rival, but he'd failed to score in the last 10 meetings. He didn't even register a point in the three previous clashes this season.

No problem before the sold-out Xcel Energy Center crowd of 18,217.

"To be honest, I just resorted today to shooting as hard as I could," said Iginla, who scored with a couple of bombs to go with an empty-netter. "There were some screens on both of those, and I'd be lying if I said I was aiming. I was just trying to hit them hard, and fortunately, they came off the right way.

"It was nice to see them go in. They weren't exactly aimed."

Bourque also had a four-point outing.

With the win, Calgary improves to 32-24-9 but remains one-point back of Detroit for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Coincidentally, the Flames meet the Red Wings Tuesday night in Detroit.

They'll go into Joe Louis Arena believing they can score goals after emerging from a team-wide slump.

"The play of the team is contagious. We're all taking it upon ourselves to create a little bit more," Iginla said. "We know this is our team and we have to create the offence in here. As a line, the last couple of games in here have felt good, but it's bigger. In the last couple of games, all the lines have been more confident and creating a lot more.

"Brent (Sutter, the head coach) has talked about it the last couple of games, and we've talked about it as players -- we have to get playing. We can't just be cautious out there, trying to work hard and trying to win a game 1-0. The last couple of games, we've been moving the puck better, trying to make plays.

"We have skill in here. We've just got to show it and use it. At times here, we've been a little too safe and too cautious, and the last couple of games, we've been playing. When we see a pass, make it. When we see a shot, take it."


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