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Iginla, Kobasew spark third-period rally as Flames knock off Blue Jackets 2-1

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Iginla, Kobasew spark third-period rally as Flames knock off Blue Jackets 2-1

The Canadian Press
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Kobasew scored his first goal in 16 games Friday night as the Calgary Flames rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The winning goal was the result of a bizarre sequence that began when Kobasew's close-in shot hit the goal post, causing the goal light and the horn in the arena to come on by mistake .

As the puck lay in the crease, Pascal Leclaire knocked it away with his blocker but it ended up back on the stick of Kobasew, who found the top corner with a shot from a sharp angle.

"Most of the guys on the ice probably stopped playing thinking it was going to be blown down. I just kept playing and it came right to me and I shot it," said Kobasew. "I haven't scored in quite a while so I shoot every time I get a chance."

Columbus rookie Gilbert Brule was on the ice for the strange play and admits the Blue Jackets were confused.

"When the horn went off, we thought they would blow the whistle so we had stopped," Brule said. "We didn't what to do."

Jarome Iginla also scored for Calgary (12-10-2), which has reeled off seven straight wins on home ice to move into a tie with the Colorado Avalanche for eighth spot in the Western Conference.

"In the third, fortunately we were able to come shift after shift and really have a big push and find a way to win it," said Iginla.

Ron Hainsey scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets (6-16-2). Columbus has lost five in a row on the road and have just one win in their last 11 overall (1-9-1). Ken Hitchcock dropped to 1-3-0 since taking over head coaching duties on Nov. 22.

"Calgary plays hard and they don't quit. We've got to play even harder," said Blue Jackets defenceman Adam Foote.

Trailing 1-0 entering the third, Iginla scored his team-leading 13th goal at 4:10. Robyn Regehr's shot from the blue-line hit Iginla in the leg as he screened Leclaire. The puck dropped down at his feet and he knocked it past Leclaire to tie the game.

"The last 12 minutes after Jarome tied it up, the wheels came off a little bit, we were really scrambling in front of our net," said Hainsey.

Leclaire had kept the Flames offence at bay with some sensational goaltending. In one stretch in the second period, he came across the net to deny Marcus Nilson's shot from close in. Shortly after, Leclaire jabbed out his blocker to deflect away a dangerous slapshot from Kristian Huselius.

Columbus opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the closing moments of the first period. A bad line change by the Flames enabled Alexander Svitov to dangerously dash into the Calgary zone. He left the puck for Anders Eriksson, who neatly faked a shot and dropped the puck back to Hainsey at the blue-line, who quickly fired a wrist shot past a screened Miikka Kiprusoff.

The goal came late on the Blue Jackets' first power-play opportunity of the night and was a welcome sight, with the Blue Jackets mired in a 4-for-52 slump with the extra man over the previous nine games.

However, Columbus was unable to connect on any of its final four man advantages - including two power-play opportunities in the third after they had fallen behind.

"They outworked us, got it to turn it over, and the result was no real pressure from us on the power-play in the final two periods," Hainsey said.

Calgary outshot Columbus 31-19.

Notes: Columbus LW Fredrik Modin (groin) missed his second game. He is recovering back in Columbus but could be ready next Tuesday when the Blue Jackets play in Colorado. . . . Iginla is two goals away from 300 for his career and one assist away from 300. . . . It was just the sixth time Columbus has scored the game's first goal (4-1-1) and fifth time they've led after the first period (3-1-1). . . . Calgary doesn't play again until Tuesday night when Carolina comes to town. The Flames will not have three days off in a row again until the all-star break in late-January.

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Iginla, Kobasew spark third-period rally as Flames knock off Blue Jackets 2-1