The Calgary Flames' November reign appeared to be over. Then, just like that, it was extended.
The Flames' six-game winning streak was in serious jeopardy as they entered the third period against the Minnesota Wild last night, down by two goals with no hint of a comeback evident in their lacklustre play.
But Dion Phaneuf's powerplay goal early in the final frame got the Flames on the scoreboard and sparked an unlikely charge toward a seventh straight victory.
Jarome Iginla's shot between the legs of screened Wild netminder Dwayne Roloson capped the Flames comeback with just 67 seconds on the clock, clinching a 3-2 victory before a packed Saddledome.
"It was nice to see that go in," said Iginla, who played a part in all three Flames goals.
"We were desperate. Going into that third period, we wanted to keep this thing going.
"We found a way to get a spark. Minnesota is a team that can shut you down and can frustrate you.
"Tonight they did that to us for two periods. In the third, we found a way to get things open."
Daymond Langkow scored the tying goal -- his first in 14 games -- with 5:44 left in regulation, ripping a shot over Roloson's glove after a perfect no-look feed from Iginla.
Iginla's pass earned rave reviews from teammate and third-period linemate Chris Simon.
"A lot of people don't realize Jarome can really pass the puck as well as shoot," said Simon.
"He's got a great eye for the ice and he made a great play to Daymond. He just took control at the end there."
After a listless couple of periods, the Flames cut a 2-0 deficit in half thanks to a powerplay goal from Phaneuf early in the third.
Iginla started the play with a nifty move to the net.
Tony Amonte got his stick on the bouncing puck but ran hard into a defender in front.
Phaneuf jumped in from the point to pounce on the loose puck and blistered it past Roloson.
"I just tried to fire it through and it got through, luckily," said Phaneuf, whose teammates tied a franchise record with 25 shots in the third period.
"It was a big game for us and we knew that.
"The first two periods were a little bit up and down but we knew what we needed to do in the third.
"To come back in the third like that is a good effort on everyone's part."
It took the Flames about three-quarters of an hour to rediscover the recipe for beating Minnesota's bottleneck trap but they finally gave their fans reason to cheer.
Better late than never.
Winger Shean Donovan, who skated with Chuck Kobasew and Marcus Nilson in the final frame, couldn't explain the early letdowns.
"It was pretty dead," said Donovan. "The first two periods, it was dead in the room and it was dead on the ice. We came out and just had a good third period. We played the way we need to play. I don't know how you explain it but we're going to have to play a full 60 minutes next time."
Mikko Koivu, with his second goal in five games, and Randy Robitaille scored for the Wild in the first and second periods, respectively.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves for the win, while Roloson made 39 in a losing cause.