Minnesota Wild Mark Parrish, left, reacts to catching an elbow from Calgary Flames Tony Amonte during the third period. (CP/Jeff McIntosh)
Iginla equalled a career high in points with two goals and two assists to lead the Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night. The Flames captain has scored in six consecutive games and suddenly finds himself tied for third in the NHL in goal scoring with 18 goals. He's behind Brendan Shanahan and Marian Hossa, who both have 22. Iginla has collected 13 points (seven goals, six assists) during his streak.
"He's got all the tools to be the best power forward in the game and the way he's playing right now, there's nobody that plays that role any better," said linemate Alex Tanguay, who had a goal and two assists.
It was Calgary's franchise-record 10th straight win on home ice. The old mark of nine had been accomplished four times.
"In the standings, it was a big win, and as far as the streak goes at home, Calgary's had some very good teams so it's cool to be part of that record," Iginla said.
Daymond Langkow and Dion Phaneuf scored the other goals for Calgary (15-10-3). Langkow also had an assist in extending his point-scoring streak to nine games (3 goals, 10 assists).
Pascal Dupuis and Todd White scored for Minnesota (16-12-2), which has lost five in a row away from home. The Wild remain tied with Edmonton atop the Northwest Division but the Flames have crept within one point and have two games in hand on both teams.
After snapping in Langkow's pass with 56 seconds left in the first period to give Calgary a 2-1 lead, Iginla added his second of the night in the opening minute of the second period to put the Flames up by two goals.
"He was obviously on fire tonight," said Langkow, Iginla's centre on the top line. "That one pass he made to me - behind the back, no look, and it went right on my tape."
Calgary coach Jim Playfair said his top forward trio took charge right from the start of the game.
"Their first four or five shifts of the game they were ready to go to work and they were ready to lead the way," said Playfair. "That was really important and they got rewarded for it as the game went on."
Up 3-1, Iginla set up goals by Dion Phaneuf and Langkow as the Flames took a 5-1 lead to the second intermission.
"It felt good tonight and as a line, we hadn't had a night like that all year," said Iginla, who hadn't registered a four-point game since Feb. 23, 2003.
Fernandez got the start for the Wild but was replaced by Niklas Backstrom after Phaneuf's goal at 3:35 of the second made it two goals on two shots in the period. Fernandez left having surrendered four goals on 13 shots. Backstrom finished with 15 saves.
"They always seem to play well here and they're a confident team when they're playing at home," said Wild defenceman Brent Burns. "We've got to figure out a way to beat them here."
Miikka Kiprusoff made 24 stops in the Flames goal to improve to 15-9-2. Despite being outplayed territorially in the early going, Minnesota drew even 1-1 at 6:45 of the first scoring shorthanded. Dupuis knocked the puck away from Phaneuf inside the Wild blue-line and scored on a breakaway.
"Even when it was 1-1, we were not close to being in the game," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. "We weren't skating and it was a matter of time, you could see it. They are a good team, they skate, they work, and if you don't work and skate you have no chance."
Tanguay had put Calgary up 1-0 on a breakaway of his own 3:05 into the game whipping a shot into the top corner.
The Flames now head out on the road, where they have struggled with four straight losses. Calgary kicks off its six-game trip Thursday night in Vancouver.
Notes: Calgary C Stephane Yelle (broken leg) is back practising and could return to the line-up as early as Thursday night. Yelle has missed the last 21 games... Calgary RW Tomi Maki was recalled from Omaha (AHL) and made his NHL debut... Over the next two weeks, a new state-of-the-art score clock will be installed at the Pengrowth Saddledome that will be unveiled when the Flames return home to play Vancouver on Dec. 26... Calgary improves to 11-0-0 when they lead after one period and 8-0-0 when Tanguay registers more than one point.