NASHVILLE -- When Jarome Iginla urged the ref to go upstairs for the review of his goal with 2.4 seconds left to play, most thought it was just the final nail in the coffin on the comeback.
It was for more than that.
Beating the Nashville Predators skaters the length of the ice and tapping the loose puck into the net before it came off its moorings, the Calgary Flames captain earned his first hat-trick of the new season to seal a 5-3 win over the Preds at the Sommet Center.
"Yeah, I got the second one," Iginla said afterward of a rebound goal initially credited to Rene Bourque. "Just shovelled it in there.
"It was traffic in front of the net all night as it went on."
As far as comebacks go, it was about as unlikely as they get. A 3-0 deficit in a barn they'd earned just one victory in their previous nine visits.
Yet there they were after the game wearing smiles and talking about a second straight win to get back to .500.
"This one feels good," said Iginla, who now has five goals on the year. "We know we weren't as sharp as we should have been early but this is a type of game where everybody feels we dug deep and we got it."
It wasn't easy.
The Predators went up 2-0 on goals 19 seconds apart by defenceman Greg Zanon and winger Jordin Tootoo early in the second period.
They added a third on the powerplay when Jason Arnott finished off a tic-tac-toe play by roofing the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff.
Craig Conroy was sitting in the penalty box for that one, and must have felt even worse than the rest of his deflated teammates at the time.
"That's what I said," said Conroy with a grin. "Sitting in that box, you feel like crap. And then it goes in, you feel even worse. You feel like you let down the guys.
"You just want to battle and work hard and try to get it back. To come back and win ... it was awesome."
Conroy earned assists on the Flames' first two goals -- both by Iginla.
The first came with 5:56 to play in the second period, giving them a little more hope. Conroy even said on Flames Pay-Per-View in the intermission the lead was a tough one for the Predators after dominating most of the way.
Killing off back-to-back 5-on-3 advantages early in the third -- thanks in large part to Kiprusoff -- seemed to swing the momentum permanently in the Flames' favour.
"If they get one on any of those, it's deflating, it's a big boost for them," said Iginla. "We've been on the other side of that too.
"It was a huge boost for us."
David Moss scored his second of the season at 8:05, and Michael Cammalleri netted what turned out to be the winner at 12:31 to complete the unlikely comeback in what has been a difficult place for the Flames to play over the years.
"They were on us. They were everywhere," said Conroy of the early going. "Kipper was unbelievable.
"Maybe it was too easy for them at the beginning."
At some point, the Flames decided there was nothing left to lose. They started going to the net hard and throwing pucks in front.
Iginla's first goal was a snipe to the far side, but his second was collected on a rebound. Moss scored on a loose puck in close, too, and Cammalleri got his stick on a point shot to deflect it past Dan Ellis.
"We can't tic-tac-toe it around like some teams, but we just talked about throwing it at the net and getting traffic," said Conroy. "Then it starts going in. You see one guy do it and everyone's going there."