Iginla finds touch in time

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Jarome Iginla couldn't have picked a better time to snap out of his scoring funk.

Precisely: 8.2 seconds left in regulation during last night's hard-to-believe 4-3 shootout comeback against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Flames captain also scored the lone goal in the shootout to send his fans home happy -- and possibly give birth to a new statistic (The Iggy?) by adding the showdown tally to a Gordie Howe hat-trick after scrapping with Ed Jovanovski in the first period and earning an assist on Dion Phaneuf's second goal of the third period.

"I think we can give him that name. That sounds good to me," said Craig Conroy when asked what the feat should be called. "I don't know how many people have done that."

Iginla was a little lost for words when the same question was posed to him.

"I don't know, but I'll take it," he said. "That's funny. I don't know what to say. It was sure nice to see those go in. It's been a while."

Ten games without a goal, to be exact. And No. 11 seemed to be in the books before Iginla found a tiny hole over Ilya Bryzgalov's shoulder to force overtime with Miikka Kiprusoff on the bench for the extra attacker.

Funny how the mind can take over in sports. Not thinking about his slump, or where to put the puck, Iginla was just trying to get a quick shot off before time expired and came up with the perfect aim.

"Sometimes when you're pushing to get a goal, you're aiming it and you're trying to pick spots and everything," said Iginla. "That was a funny one because I'm just turning around and trying to shoot it as quick as I can.

"I think it might have hit the top of (the defender's) shaft, I'm not sure. It's sure nice to see that go. There was no aiming it or anything -- and you really shouldn't, but sometimes you get thinking a little bit. It sure feels good to get it to go."

After falling behind 3-0 over the first 40 minutes thanks to Coyotes rookie Peter Mueller's hat-trick, the Flames ramped up their intensity in the third period to help the crowd that was booing before the final intermission forget about the 5-0 loss in Edmonton Monday night and the rocky start at the Dome when Mueller started the scoring just 23 seconds in.

Phaneuf got the rally going in the third with a powerplay goal at 7:01, and added a second score when he shattered his stick on a one-timer from Anders Eriksson that squeaked through Bryzgalov's pads and across the line.

"I thought Dion was a big force tonight. He just kept pushing it on them," said Iginla.

"Kept going to the net, driving, and he got that first goal for us, which was huge."

There were a few huge moments that led to the dramatic finish.

Kiprusoff's save on a Steve Reinprecht breakaway in the dying seconds of overtime, for example.

"We don't have that point there if he doesn't stop there with eight seconds left," said Iginla. "And stop them all in the shootout."

And Eriksson's shot that nearly won it for the Flames in OT before Jovanovksi swept it away just before it inched across the goal-line.

And, of course, Iginla's slump-busting clinchers.

"I told Iggy, 'I don't care if you score only 10 more goals, but if you score goals like that, that's OK,' " Eriksson said.


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