Iggy's party spoiled

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

It was Dec. 19, 1995, when the Calgary Flames pulled off the blockbuster deal.

Disenchanted captain Joe Nieuwendyk was dealt to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Corey Millen and a prospect.

The headline was "Jarome Who?"

Fast forward 13 years, Calgary knows all about that first-round draft choice headed for the Stampede City.

With his first-period assist last night, Iginla collected the 800th point of his career, all with the Flames, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's something that you don't think about until you are really close or right there. It's been a fun 12 years," Iginla said of the milestone.

"You get 800 points by playing some very good players. It's fun to be in the NHL that long. To play all 892 games with Calgary ... they've gone by like that.

"Whenever I watch the World Juniors, it reminds me of getting traded in the NHL. I remember the phone call like it was yesterday that told me I was being traded. I didn't imagine at that point about being part of a deal. I was thinking all in WHL terms (thinking he'd been dealt from Kamloops to the expansion Hitmen)."

Iginla's party was spoiled only 23 seconds into overtime last night when Duncan Keith banged a rebound past Miikka Kiprusoff and netted his team its sixth straight victory.

It also snapped a modest two-game winning streak for Calgary (18-11-4).

"It was a hard-fought game, and we knew it would be," said defenceman Robyn Regehr. "Chicago's been playing very well, and they're on a roll. They're a young team and they're playing with a lot of confidence.

"For us, we played a decent game, but when you play a team like that -- that has the confidence, that has the skill and are feeling it -- you have to bring a little bit more, and that's where we fell short."

Iginla was the man of the hour for becoming only the third player in franchise history to reach that standard (the others are Theoren Fleury and Al MacInnis), but Rene Bourque was the star of the show.

The former Blackhawk opened the scoring before the Saddledome sellout crowd of 19,289 and assisted David Moss's tally.

"I was ready to go yeah," admitted Bourque. "I played there for three years. To get a chance to play against them was fun. I have a lot of close friends over there. After we got beat pretty bad in Chicago, I wanted to come out with my best effort. We played well but not good enough."

Unfortunately for the Flames, those goals bookended a pair of Chicago tallies by David Bolland and Patrick Kane early in the second period. An entertaining affair, indeed, but not quite the result the Flames were looking for.

"Part of our responsibility is to entertain. That's a nice way of putting it," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan.

"I thought we had a very good effort considering we played three games in four nights and had to travel while they're sitting here waiting for us. As far as stamina and energy and tempo of the game I thought that both teams had a good pace and I am particularly happy about the pace we played with because of those circumstances."

It was also a goaltending exhibition. To nobody's surprise, Nikolai Khabibulin was his usual stellar self for the 'Hawks (17-6-7). The 'Bulin Wall improved his career record against the Flames to 20-5-2 and had key second-period stops on Todd Bertuzzi and Andre Roy in a 32-save performance.

Kiprusoff was no slouch either in a 28-save performance that included a key breakaway save on Kane with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

Calgary finishes up the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.


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