SUN Hockey Pool

Juicy rebound for Flames

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Rebounding from Saturday's lopsided 9-4 loss to Nashville was important.

More important were the two points that came with the Calgary Flames' 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Excel Energy Center last night.

At least, that's the way Jarome Iginla sees things.

"Looking at the standings, it really is about points," said Iginla, who scored a go-ahead goal two minutes into the third period and then set up linemate Kristian Huselius for the winner with 5:08 to play.

"As far as the rebound, that's big, too. But really, at this time, it comes down to wins and tonight was a big one."

The Flames -- playing their third game on the road in four nights -- used a combination of solid penalty killing, timely goaltending, three goals and a combined six points from their top line to eke out the win and open up a four-point lead over Colorado in the Northwest Division standings.

Inactive since their game against the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday, the Wild got off to a slow start as the Flames focused on bouncing back with a strong effort after being shelled in Nashville.

Shaking off the franchise's ugliest loss -- at least in terms of defence -- since an 8-0 pasting at the hands of San Jose in 2000, the Flames kept the Wild off the shot clock entirely for more than eight minutes to start the game.

Other than a full two-minute 5-on-3 Wild powerplay in the first, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff wasn't busy early.

However, he had a full workload ahead as the hosts outshot the Flames 32-9 over the final 40 minutes, using another handful of powerplay opportunities to swing momentum their way.

"Gave up too many shots for anyone really to be happy about but I think they had a lot of special teams shots," said Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr, who laughed after being told the Wild held a 7-3 advantage in man-advantage opportunities. "It felt like we killed a lot of them. It was a hard-fought game and I'm happy that the guys in here could rebound from last night's disappointment."

The Flames grabbed the early lead on Daymond Langkow's 20th goal of the season -- deflecting Roman Hamrlik's point shot through Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez' legs -- while playing 4-on-4 with Shean Donovan and Kyle Wanvig off for roughing.

Minnesota appeared to tie the game but Andrei Zyuzin's goal was waved off because of Calgarian Wanvig's presence in the crease -- although he didn't appear to interfere.

The Wild peppered Kiprusoff early and often in the second, finally solving the Flames keeper with 1:20 to play when Marc Chouinard backhanded a bouncing puck past Kiprusoff while Dion Phaneuf served a questionable minor for interfering with the massive Derek Boogaard in front of the net.

Iginla's powerplay marker 2:10 into the third restored the Flames' lead

The relentless Wild again evened the score on Wes Walz's 16th of the year but, rounding out a solid night from the Flames' top line, Huselius took Iginla's pass and snapped it five-hole.

Langkow was happy his line was a factor in what he called a "feel-good win" after Saturday's upsetting outcome.

"To come out tonight and play the way we did. We found a way to win tonight," he said.


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