Flames skid snapped

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Even those not keeping track would know of the imbalance on the bad-break meter so far this season for the Calgary Flames.

True, it's not the only reason they're below .500 and certainly wasn't the sole factor in the five-game losing skid they ended last night with their 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

But, six weeks into the season and with the number of goals that have gone in off their own players or at the most bizarre times, you can't blame the players for feeling they've had more things blow up in their face than Wile E. Coyote.

Finally the pendulum swung the other way in the victory that ended the team's longest losing streak in five years.

It started when Jarome Iginla began the comeback with a shot that ricocheted off both Minnesota defencemen on the ice and continued when Kristian Huselius netted the winner in the final minute with a sharp-angled offering that squeaked through the feet of Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom.

"I thought for the game we were battling and we were disciplined and we were competing hard. It felt like we worked for some of those breaks," Iginla said inside the visibly relieved dressing room.

"I was just trying to use (Nick) Schultz as a screen and I thought it went off one of our guys, but I guess it went off both their d-men.

"It's a very lucky break but at this point, we'll take them."

The win was Calgary's first in the month of November and improved its record to 7-8-3.

Although not as big a piece of luck as Iginla's goal, Huselius's winning tally with 52.5 seconds left on the clock did require some good fortune.

Alone deep in Wild territory after a chaotic play at the blueline, Huselius took a pass from Daymond Langkow and immediately chipped the puck toward the cage.

To the happy surprise of the 19,289 on hand at the Saddledome, it reached pay dirt.

"I saw Mosser (David Moss) on the far post. He was wide open. I was just thinking the goalie's going to cheat a little bit," Huselius said. "I tried to snap it quick and I guess he was cheating a little bit because he opened up the five-hole.

"Was a nice feeling to see it go in. Finally."

Especially since it was looking to be one of those bitterly disappointing nights for the Flames.

Facing their first six-game skid since November 2002, the hosts were in desperate need of a lead to gain a hint of confidence.

They received their wish with Dion Phaneuf's first-period powerplay blast.

However, a pair of third-period goals by Mikko Koivu had the Flames down 2-1 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Iginla's goal came a mere 21 seconds after what was the Wild's go-ahead tally to spark the comeback. Asked if he figured his pinball-machine goal would have come in recent days, Iginla said: "maybe not".

"Over these five games we haven't found ways to close teams out or get that big goal.

"It was a break on the goal I got but the big goal was Huselius' goal, to get that winning goal," he said. "Over the last five games, we've had big pushes, had some big periods and been right there. Some games were bad, but some we were right there, but couldn't get over the edge.

"We did that."

The Flames return to action with a weekend road swing to Edmonton on Saturday and Vancouver Sunday.


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