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Minnesota at Calgary

Huselius' last-minute goal boosts slumping Flames past Wild

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CALGARY, Alberta -- The victory was far from impressive, but after a five-game losing streak it looked great to the Calgary Flames.

Kristian Huselius scored the winning goal with 53 seconds remaining, and the Flames snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Up 1-0 entering the third period, the Flames fell behind on back-to-back goals by Mikko Koivu before rallying for the victory on goals that both were the result of fortuitous bounces.

Just 21 seconds after Koivu's fifth of the season put the Wild in front, Jarome Iginla scored his 11th goal of the season on the definitive fluke goal.

Streaking over the Minnesota blue line, Iginla let go a slap shot that first deflected off Wild defenseman Nick Schultz, caromed wickedly off the ankle of defense partner Brent Burns, and went straight into the net past stunned goalie Niklas Backstrom.

On the winning goal, Daymond Langkow's shot off the stick of Burns and caromed near the corner to Huselius, who quickly snapped his eighth goal of the season through Backstrom's pads.

"First the puck hits a couple players and goes in," Calgary forward Alex Tanguay said. "The last one, Kristian made a nice shot but from the angle he was, that shot normally doesn't go in. I guess we were owed one."

Tanguay was a central figure in the third. He was serving his second minor penalty of the period when Minnesota scored to take the lead. After he departed the penalty box, Flames coach Mike Keenan kept him on the ice. The move paid off as Tanguay's hit began the sequence that led to Iginla's tying goal.

"He was upset with the call and he came out with a strong will, made a big play and that led to the opportunity we picked up as a result of his hit deep in our end," Keenan said.

Dion Phaneuf and Iginla scored for the Flames, who won at home for the first time in four games.

"Confidence and momentum are two things that you need on your side in this game and you have to make sure you work hard to get them and then once you have them, you have to keep them," Tanguay said.

Minnesota fell to 0-2 on its four-game road trip that will take the Wild to the other four teams of the Northwest Division. The Wild were again without two-thirds of their top line with Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra still out with groin injuries, which have sidelined them for the past three games.

Calgary led 1-0 after two periods, but the advantage was turned into a one-goal deficit when Koivu scored goals less than seven minutes apart.

At 3:17, Koivu tied it with his fourth of the season. After chipping the puck past Adrian Aucoin at the Minnesota blue line, Koivu raced up ice and redirected a pass from Mark Parrish just inside the goal post beyond goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Wild surged in front at 9:52 on a power play when Koivu, standing uncovered in the slot, steered in Petteri Nummelin's shot from the side boards.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Flames got even 21 seconds later when Iginla scored the definitive fluke goal.

"We really did have the momentum there but Iginla's goal was a little unfortunate for us for sure," Minnesota center Brian Rolston said. "Sometimes that can change a hockey game. We were still playing hard but then they get that third one. It's a bit of a jinx for us in this building."

Streaking over the Minnesota blue line, Iginla's slap shot deflected off Schultz, caromed wickedly off Burns' ankle, and went straight into the net past a stunned Backstrom.

The goal extended Iginla's point streak to seven games (five goals, four assists).

Kiprusoff made 26 saves, earning his second victory in seven starts since signing a $35 million, six-year contract extension Oct. 29.

"Like the pitcher in baseball or the quarterback in football, the goaltender often gets most of the blame because they're the last line of defense, but it's a team game; it hasn't been Miikka's fault," Tanguay said.

Kiprusoff entered having given up three or more goals in his previous five starts. Neither his goals-against average (3.19) or save percentage (.884) was in the NHL's top 35.

The lone goal of the opening 40 minutes came at 15:43 of the first period when Phaneuf scored on the power play. Tanguay slid the puck over to Phaneuf pinching in from the blue line for a one-timed, hard slap shot into the top corner past Backstrom.

Notes

  • Kiprusoff has gone 23 games, dating to last season, without a shutout. He entered with 24 NHL blankings, an average of one every 9.7 appearances.
  • Langkow returned to the lineup after missing one game due to a concussion. Flames D Rhett Warrener returned after missing four games due to strep throat.
  • Kiprusoff and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov are the only two goalies to start every one of his team's games this season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jarome Iginla (12) has good reason to smile after tying the game for Calgary with his 12th goal.  (AP)
Jarome Iginla (12) has good reason to smile after tying the game for Calgary with his 12th goal. (AP)
Scoreboard
Minnesota (9-6-2)0022
Calgary  (7-8-3) «1023
Three Stars
D. Phaneuf
CGY


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Koivu
MIN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
K. Huselius
CGY


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
15:43Power Play - Dion Phaneuf (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Alex Tanguay, Kristian Huselius
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
03:17Mikko Koivu (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Mark Parrish, Kim Johnsson
09:52Power Play - Mikko Koivu (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Petteri Nummelin, Kurtis Foster
10:13Jarome Iginla (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Craig Conroy, Miikka Kiprusoff
19:07Kristian Huselius (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Daymond Langkow, Anders Eriksson
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:03Skoula, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
14:36Carney, 2 min, Hooking
16:07Nolan, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
09:02Foy, 2 min, Tripping
10:55Lombardi, 2 min, Hooking
15:44Voros, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
03:42Tanguay, 2 min, Holding the Stick
08:21Tanguay, 2 min, High-Sticking
11:03Sarich, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
19:34Koivu, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Minnesota781328
Calgary1310528
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Niklas Backstrom59:51253
Miikka Kiprusoff60:00262
Game Information
Attendance - 19289
Referees - Rob Martell, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Mark Wheler
 
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