SUN Hockey Pool

That's a Swede pass!

The Flames' Jarome Iginla (right) and Kristian Huselius celebrate a goal against the Rangers on...

The Flames' Jarome Iginla (right) and Kristian Huselius celebrate a goal against the Rangers on Wednesday. SUN MEDIA/Brett Gundlock

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

You could have understood if Jarome Iginla flubbed it.

Every other jaw in the Saddledome had dropped to the floor watching Kristian Huselius weave his way past three opposing players before handing the puck to Iginla.

The tap-in goal that helped the Calgary Flames earn their 4-3 win last night over the New York Rangers was probably the easiest of Iginla's career, but it's impressive he wasn't too overcome by shock to put it in the net.

"I wasn't off guard. I was ready," Iginla said. "I was hoping but I wasn't expecting. At that point, he could shoot or pass because he's already gone through a few guys. It was a very generous pass he gave me.

"They don't come much shorter or more wide-open than that."

On a night where the skill players were everywhere on the ice, Huselius stole the show before the sellout crowd of 19,289. The left-winger netted three assists and scored the game winner to pace the club to its third straight victory.

Flames fans have become used to seeing Huselius weave magic with the puck -- darting and eluding checkers even when there is no space to be had -- but Huselius took his mastery to a new level with the highlight-reel goal that restored the club's two-goal edge early in the third period.

"I was just trying to get to the net. I was lucky to beat three guys," he said modestly.

"That's my style I guess. You have to be solid defensive, but that's my game, be creative offensively."

Huselius showed more with his goal, which became the game-winner because of a late Rangers surge.

He was nearly in the corner along the side boards when he fired a sharp-angled shot that banked in off the leg of the suddenly startled Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

A planned play? Huselius has scored on bank-shots before, but he wouldn't admit to that.

"It's kinda tough to practice, but it's a nice feeling," he said.

"Lundqvist is a Swede, so it feels really nice to get it in."

Iginla scored twice to increase his season total to 29, while Adrian Aucoin added a single for the Flames.

Calgary can finally lay claim to a home winning streak. The Flames (20-14-7) have won three in a row at the 'Dome for the first time this season.

As odd as it sounds, the spree is a huge psychological boost for the club that vaulted both Minnesota and Colorado to reach second spot in the Northwest Division and fifth in the West -- though those teams have games in hand.

"It goes back to that word confidence," said head coach Mike Keenan.

"Winning begets winning and you build on it. You can feel a better level of confidence, you can feel the team more stable. If a tough situation arises for them, they can deal with it better.

"Any time you can have success, you build small blocks in term of team confidence that will help you playing at home or on the road."

Iginla said the success at home was just a matter of time.

"In our last 15 games, I think our confidence has been growing every game," he said. "We have a style we want to play, that's skating, physical -- I really think our energy guys ... have been leading that -- and playing on the other side you have (Dion) Phaneuf, (Robyn) Regehr and (Cory) Sarich ready to run you.

"Since we've been doing that, been harder, and getting consistent results, the confidence has been growing and it feels good.

"We want to keep going and keep climbing."

The Flames also benefited from a solid performance from Miikka Kiprusoff, although a couple of late goals tarnished the 29-save effort slightly. He was especially strong late in the second period when the hosts were holding a 2-1 lead.

"If you score four goals at home, you have to win," Kiprusoff said.

Michal Rozsival, Brandon Dubinsky and Brendan Shanahan replied for the Rangers (20-16-4).

The Flames are back in action tonight in San Jose facing the Sharks.


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