SUN Hockey Pool

Having a 'Guay old time

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Taking a pair of penalties in the opening minutes of a game when your kill percentage is lingering at the bottom of the league standings is as bad as inviting the Grim Reaper over for dinner.

He'll enjoy your hospitality, feast on your family and then slip out the front door with a smile.

Well, the Minnesota Wild were smiling a little too early in last night's impressive 5-3 comeback win for the Calgary Flames.

Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish gave the Wild a comfortable looking two-goal cushion a little more than five minutes into the game.

Wes Walz's first of the year shortly thereafter had the fans thinking, 'Here we go again.' But instead of apparently accepting defeat as they did in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Flames came back with a vengeance.

They clawed back with goals from Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Alex Tanguay in a span of five minutes midway through the second period to tie the contest and ran away with it from there.

"We all feel we have the talent to play with anybody in the league and Minnesota was certainly as hot as any team coming into the game," said Tanguay, who potted the winner 3:46 into the third period and blocked Niklas Backstrom's view of Iginla's shot on the first of fie straight goals. "We feel the last 40 minutes we played Flames hockey. I think we were the better team in the last two periods and it showed on the scoreboard."

Tanguay's tallies were his first and second of the season, and he was admittedly as relieved as he seemed when he opened his arms and looked skyward to celebrate on the ice.

"I feel like I lost 20 pounds after that one," he joked. "Fortunately, it came at the right time for us."

The momentum Tanguay says began during an unsuccessful five-on-three advantage early in the second carried into their penalty killing -- ranked a dire 28th in the league coming in.

The Flames tightened up their play in the defensive end to prevent the Wild from regaining the momentum on any of their seven man-advantage opportunities that followed.

When a team continues to play hard, bounces eventually go its way. Calls do, too, as those same Flames who disputed any wrongdoing on Tanguay's bump-and-screen on Iginla's goal will likely admit to themselves after watching replays..

It was the first time the Flames have come back from a three-goal deficit to win since Nov. 10, 1998 when they beat the L.A. Kings 5-4 at the 'Dome. Armed with Jacques Lemaire's iron-clad defensive scheme, the Wild have never given up that large a lead and lost.

"It's a big win. For the standings, for the morale after such a dismal game last game," said Iginla. "I thought when we were down three against a team -- really the best defensive team and hasn't had a regulation loss -- I thought we did a good job of staying positive and trying to work through it and not feeling sorry for ourselves.

"I thought we did a great job of just trying to get the next goal. We threw the first period out. That's what you have to do and it's not easy to do all the time."


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