Anaheim Ducks\' Aaron Ward, right, hits Calgary Flames\' Niklas Hagman, from Finland, during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary on Tuesday March 23, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
CALGARY - Rene Bourque took advantage of some hard work from Jarome Iginla to help the Calgary Flames in their playoff push.
Bourque scored the game-winner late in the second on Tuesday as the Flames topped the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Bourque's 23rd goal of the season came after he broke in alone on Jonas Hiller and put a wrist shot through the legs of the Anaheim netminder. Iginla set things up by stealing the puck from Ducks forward Corey Perry at his own blue-line and chipping it ahead to Bourque.
"Iggy and Perry fell down, so I knew as soon as I got the puck I had pretty much a clear breakaway from the red-line out," Bourque said. "I just shot it five-hole and it went in."
With the score tied late in the period, Iginla's defensive hustle came at a critical time.
"It's 1-1 and Perry brought the puck across the blue-line," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter. "We did a good job by not giving time and space and Jarome reacted quickly to him and was able to strip the puck away from him and Bourquie was able to jump on it.
"That's a huge goal because now you go into the third period up one instead of being tied."
Nigel Dawes and Niklas Hagman also scored for the Flames (37-27-9), while Iginla and defenceman Jay Bouwmeester chipped in with a pair of assists each.
With the win, the Flames pulled to within two points of the Detroit Red Wings (36-23-13) for eighth place in the Western Conference.
"Defensively I thought we reacted well to situations," said Sutter of his team's effort. "I thought we did a good job of reacting properly and making sure our support was good in our zone."
Scott Niedermayer scored for the Ducks (34-30-8), who are nine points out of a playoff spot with just 10 games remaining.
"We're obviously pretty disappointed," Niedermayer said. "We know the position we're in each night. Those two points are what we need each night. You've got to give the Flames credit, they played a pretty good defensive game and made it tough for us to get chances, but I think we could have done more to create more chances and go to the net a bit more."
Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 22 of 23 shots to record his 32nd win of the season, while Jonas Hiller made 25 saves for Anaheim.
With Daymond Langkow out of the lineup with a neck injury sustained Sunday at Minnesota, the Flames called up forward Brett Sutter from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.
It didn't take lone for Sutter to make an impact. He dropped the gloves and fought Anaheim defenceman Brett Festerling two minutes into the first period, knocking his opponent down, to the delight of the 19,289 fans in attendance at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Flames took a 1-0 lead on a flukey goal by Dawes during a Calgary power play at 15:11 of the first. With Dawes driving to the slot, Steve Staois let go a shot from the point that hit the Calgary forward and bounced into the net behind Hiller.
"We made a couple mistakes," said Anaheim forward Saku Koivu. "They got a lucky one there in the first on the power play and then they capitalized on the chances they got. It's a tough one to take."
Anaheim tied the game at 14:27 of the second period when Niedermayer's point shot found its way into the top corner behind a screend Kiprusoff.
Following Bourque's late second-period goal, Hagman added an insurance marker early in the third period when he converted a feed from Iginla for his first goal in 13 games. It was only his second in 18 games as a Flame, after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a seven-player deal on Jan. 31.
"I've been starting to feel a little bit better lately and getting a little bit more chances," Hagman said. "Right now you just try to battle and try to go for the net and hopefully get some pucks in. I was pretty happy to get one today, it's been a stretch without goals. Hopefully, now I can help the team a little bit more by scoring goals."
Notes: The Flames now have a 30-1-3 record when leading after two periods and a 29-11-5-1 record when scoring the first goal of the game this season. ... The Ducks have compiled a 18-11-1 record in their last 30 games dating back to Jan. 5. ... Hiller has started 18 consecutive games and 29 of the past 30 contests for the Ducks.