Win comes at steep price

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Now comes the wait to see how high the price of victory can be.

Although the Calgary Flames had plenty of reasons to celebrate last night's 5-4 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers, the elation was decidedly tempered with what could be a disastrous injury to their best player.

Star captain Jarome Iginla, on pace for the best offensive season of his career, left the game in the second period with an injury -- the club wouldn't divulge exactly what it was, only calling it a "lower-body" injury.

"I've got nothing to report," said head coach Jim Playfair, who presumably will be more forthcoming today. "There's no sense in me trying to tell you something because it's not fair."

Iginla's last act on the ice was a fight with Florida defenceman Bryan Allen but Playfair said the injury "didn't have anything to do with the fight."

Before dropping the gloves, in what originally appeared to be retribution for a hard but clean check Allen laid on Chuck Kobasew -- knocking him out of the game with what appeared to be a concussion -- Iginla was hit into the boards by Allen, wedging his left leg while his body turned.

Iginla served the full five minutes in the sin bin after the fight but went straight to the Flames dressing room after serving his sentence.

Iginla was not made available after the game but the club's media relations staff said he'd talk today.

There was also no update on Kobasew, who left the ice woozy and needing help and didn't return.

A long-term injury to Iginla, fourth in the league's scoring race before the day's action, could have a huge impact on the club.

His 23 goals and 53 points are by far the most on the squad.

"Any time the best player in the league, the best player on your team, is hurt, it's a big loss," said Byron Ritchie. "I don't know how serious it is. Iggy's a tough guy and I'm sure he'll be back soon."

"It sucks," added defenceman Mark Giordano.

"He's up there with the best players in the league. It's tough to fill a guy's spot, a guy like that, when he goes out.

"I thought guys did a great job of stepping up in the last five minutes and it continued into overtime."

Giordano played the hero, scoring with 29.8 seconds remaining in the extra period, after Ritchie and David Moss both tallied late to erase a two-goal deficit.

Iginla and Florida's Jay Bouwmeester traded first-period goals and Alex Tanguay put Calgary ahead within a minute of the captain's scrap.

However, a pair of goals by Rostislav Olesz and another by David Booth gave Florida a two-goal edge with less than four-minutes remaining in regulation.

Giordano admitted Iginla's loss had an immediate effect.

"Hopefully, he'll be back soon but guys in this locker-room know what they have to do and are gonna step up," he said.

Which they did, with a big comeback.


Videos

Photos