Iggy leader of the pack

RANDY SPORTAK. SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

Years from now, Jarome Iginla's double-dip milestone night won't be remembered for a loss.

It'll be how the face of the Calgary Flames became the all-time leading scorer and notched the 400th goal of his career in spectacular fashion.

Trust Iginla to rewrite the record books with a career night -- two goals, five points -- even if it came in last night's bizarre 8-6 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Looking back at it down the road, it's still gonna be a good night, and I appreciate it for sure," he said.

"You have to pinch yourself. When I started with the Flames, I never imagined staying for this long.

"It's been a great time, and to get to play with the players I've played with and the opportunities I've gotten -- and to get it at home -- is special."

When the puck dropped, Iginla needed two points to surpass Theoren Fleury for most points in franchise history, and two goals to reach 400 for his illustrious career.

A first-period powerplay goal put him even with Fleury at 830 points, and he took his spot at the top of the list with a pair of assists in the second period of the wild and woolly affair.

His 400th goal came 14 seconds into the final frame, a one-timer off a Craig Conroy pass.

Iginla rounded out the second five-point night of his career, both coming this season, with another helper late in the outing which put Calgary within a goal of drawing even.

"We wanted to do it tonight, but he didn't say anything," Conroy said.

"He didn't act any different, didn't mention it. He just came in, business as usual."

Nothing was of the usual in this affair.

The party was ruined by a cellar-dwelling Lightning club more than happy to take advantage of Calgary's worst defensive outing of the season.

Jamie Lundmark scored with a little less than six minutes remaining in the middle frame to give the Flames a 4-2 edge and the sellout crowd of 19,289 reason to believe they were going to witness a perfect result for the popular captain's big night.

Instead, the Flames looked nothing like a first-place team.

Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos and Vaclav Prospal scored in a three-and-a-half-minute span before the middle frame was concluded, which chased Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to the bench at the intermission in favour of backup netminder Curtis McElhinney.

Then, Ryan Malone and Lecavalier scored powerplay goals early in the third period to make it a 7-5 count and send the Lightning away for good.

Lecavalier's second tally of the night was the 300th of his career.

"One of those nights," Iginla said.

"We had our opportunities to hold it. We played a game like this against them last year for whatever reason.

"We know we let one get away. Having a two-goal lead near the end of the second, we should have been better."

Conroy, Michael Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi also scored for the Flames.

Martin St. Louis scored twice and Evgeny Artyukhin also tallied for the Lightning (21-30-12), who won for only the second time in eight outings.

The Flames (37-19-6) had went nine games without losing in regulation, so even head coach Mike Keenan had to temper the disappointment.

In fact, he brought up that the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings were whipped 8-0 Saturday night.

"It does happen from time to time," Keenan said.

"The point now is it's not what happens to you, it's how you recover and respond to what happens to us is the most important part to getting back to what we do well."

The first chance for that will be tomorrow night in Ottawa, which is the start of a seven-game road trip.

"It might be something good for us," Conroy said.

"We were rolling along, and this leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth.

"Now we can go to Ottawa with something to prove," Conroy said.

"We have to play better and now we're going to do that."


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