SUN Hockey Pool

Victorious New Year for Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Trust Jarome Iginla to make sure New Year's is a night to really celebrate.

The Calgary Flames captain scored twice in a career-best five-point night to pace the Flames to their New Year's Eve 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Not a bad way to snap a six-game goal-scoring skid.

Iginla wasn't the lone player to have a career night. Michael Cammalleri also had a five-point outing with two goals and three helpers. The third part of the line, Craig Conroy, chipped in with a pair of assists. A 12-point night for the club's top line.

"It was a fun night," said Iginla, whose had 14 different four-point nights over his career, two already this season. "Connie gave me a great pass on that first goal, pretty much a wide-open net. I was pretty excited to see that come.

"It's been a while."

Iginla hadn't scored in the first four games of the club's Christmastime homestand, but made up for it before they set off the fireworks before the sellout crowd of 19,289 at the Saddledome.

"It was a good way to end the year. A team effort," Iginla said. "And to beat the Oilers for the first time this year."

His big tally came early in the third period, when he broke open a 3-3 deadlock by completing a perfectly executed give-and-go with Daymond Langkow. It was also the team's third powerplay goal of the night.

Calgary (22-11-4) now has a five-point edge on the Vancouver Canucks in the Northwest Division title chase. They Oilers (17-16-3) are 11 points back of their provincial rivals.

"We've been rolling lately, gathering some points," Cammalleri said. "We definitely want that to continue."

The Flames twice came back from one-goal deficits in the first period - with Iginla and Cammalleri both doing the honours. The hosts did it again in the third period thanks to Adrian Aucion's powerplay goal. Dustin Boyd's tally held up as the game winner.

But the night belonged to Iginla and Cammalleri, who both deserve the memento on the goal that resulted in completing their five-point game.

"We'd have to cut it in half," Cammalleri said with a grin. "He can have it."

Denis Grebeshkov, Robert Nilsson, Lubomir Visnovsky and Erik Cole replied for the Oilers, who have dropped two straight. The Flames finished their longest homestand of the season with a 4-0-1 record - good for nine of 10 points.

"It's a time of year when you have to work at staying focused," head

coach Mike Keenan said. "There's a lot of opportunity to visit family

and spend time with your extended family, which is very important for

all of us, but at the same time to have the discipline to separate out

the seasonal time and work time, they did a good job."

Up next for Calgary is a two game road trip that goes to Nashville

Saturday and Chicago Sunday.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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