Phaneuf finishes 'em off

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Kinda makes you wonder how good another Calgary Flames-Vancouver Canucks playoff series would be, eh?

As if the last one wasn't thrilling enough.

Dion Phaneuf's powerplay goal with 2:21 remaining was the difference last night as the Flames claimed a 4-3 win over the Canucks and a sweep of their two-game series at the 'Dome.

"It's very special," said Phaneuf, who also collected two assists. "It's a big game and we knew what the points meant. We came home to win four games and to fall one short wasn't acceptable. We knew that.

"To get the opportunity to put that in is something special, that's for sure."

Not only did the Flames score four times in a game for the first time this season, they also perfectly finished their four-game homestand to move one game above .500 (8-7-2).

With both Bryan Allen and Trevor Linden in the sin bin in the waning minutes, Calgary enjoyed a five-on-three powerplay for 90 seconds.

Phaneuf made the most of it by one-timing Jarome Iginla's crossing pass by Vancouver goalie Alex Auld to the delight of the sellout gathering of 19,289.

"We had really good control and that's the key to having success -- having control and waiting to see what they give you," Phaneuf said. "Iggy made a great pass over and I just tried to get it through. Luckily, it went in."

Iginla, the team's top sniper, had no problem deferring the scoring chance to the rookie.

"He's got a pretty good shot," laughed Iginla, who also tallied.

"If he gets a chance from that position, he's gonna score. It's a tough play for a goalie because he's got a huge shot. It was sure nice to see that go in."

It was a thrilling finish to the series.

Calgary went into the third period down 2-1 but pulled ahead on goals 37 seconds apart by Roman Hamrlik and Iginla. That lead evaporated soon after when Canucks captain Markus Naslund notched his second powerplay goal of the game, setting the stage for Phaneuf's heroics.

"Those games feel good, especially against the Canucks," Iginla said. "They're a very good club and to be able to fight a see-saw battle in the third period and win it is good. Everybody in these two games left everything out there."

Chuck Kobasew, who failed to convert on a second-period penalty shot, also scored for the Flames, while Steve Reinprecht netted three assists.

Todd Bertuzzi added the other goal for Vancouver (10-4-2), which lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season.

Flames assistant coach Jim Playfair believes the Flames-Canucks rivalry is alive and well.

"When the league put the two games back-to-back, they were hoping for high intensity hockey like that and both teams delivered," he said.

Miikka Kiprusoff, whose shutout streak ended at 122 minutes 31 seconds early in the second period, stopped 18 shots for the win, while Auld made 24 saves.

After a quick trip to Phoenix for Thursday's date with the Coyotes, Calgary returns home for another three-game homestand.

"We had a mission to get ourselves up and running on this four-game homestand," Playfair said.

"Now we're ready to get back on the road and get to work."


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