CHICAGO (AP) -- Calgary's Jarome Iginla and the Chicago
Blackhawks had noteworthy two-point performances.
While Iginla added to his NHL-leading goal total, scoring his
50th and 51st of the season, the Blackhawks made three first-period
goals stand up and moved into sole possession of fourth place in
the Western Conference with a 3-2 victory over the Flames on Sunday
"That was a big-time win for us," said Chicago's Brian Sutter,
who earned his 400th NHL coaching victory. "I know this club had
71 points last year and we have 93 now."
Iginla became the first player in the league to score 50 goals
this season, reaching the plateau with a power-play goal with 18.2
seconds left in the first period. His slap shot from the top of the
right circle sailed over Jocelyn Thibault's glove and just under
the crossbar to cut the Blackhawks' lead to 3-1.
"(Craig Conroy) sent me in on the wing and going in I thought
this might be the one," Iginla said. "I was putting my head down
just trying to shoot it as hard as I could.
"I just tried to go high glove and fortunately it found the
Even Thibault admitted Iginla's 50th was impressive.
"I came out and I really thought I had him trapped," Thibault
said. "But with him every shot comes hard. He's one of those guys
who shoots to score every time."
Iginla added his 51st goal at 5:51 of the second period, raising
his season point total to a league-leading 94. His second goal
survived a video review; it was unclear whether Iginla knocked the
puck in with his stick or body as he was checked to the ice.
"It was kind of a good break for sure," Iginla said. "I
missed by first shot and lost my edge. I knew the puck was kind of
under me and I just fell into the net."
Iginla is virtually assured of being the NHL's only 50-goal
scorer this season. After play Sunday, Boston's Bill Guerin was
second with 40 goals. Washington's Petr Bondra and Toronto's Mats
Sundin were tied for third with 39 goals each.
Iginla's previous career high for goals was 31, set last season.
He also had a chance from close range with 8:30 left in regulation,
but Thibault, who finished with 15 saves, made the stop.
Amonte opened the scoring 1:28 in, swatting in a rebound from
the side of the net. Sullivan made it 2-0 from the edge of the
crease at 5:50 of the first period when he tipped Steve Poapst's
feed past Mike Vernon, who finished with 30 saves.
Nylander extended Chicago's lead to 3-0 with 2:15 left in the
first when he was left alone in front of the net. Nylander took a
feed from Joe Reekie on the left boards and then tucked a
backhander past Vernon.
Iginla's goals made it close, but Chicago killed four of five
Calgary power plays, including one late in the third period, to
preserve the lead.
Iginla is the eighth player in Flames team history to score
50 or more goals in a season, and the first to accomplish the feat
since Gary Roberts scored 50 in 1991-92. ... Joe Nieuwendyk, now
with New Jersey, is the only Atlanta or Calgary Flames skater to
have two 50-goal seasons. ... Chicago defensemen Boris Mironov and
Alexander Karpovtsev missed the game and are day-to-day. Mironov
has a strained groin and Karpovtsev is recovering from arthroscopic
knee surgery. ... Six Flames missed the game due to injury: center
Marc Savard (concussion), defenseman Denis Gauthier (shoulder),
right wing Blake Sloan (arm/neck stinger), center Clarke Wilm
(fractured ankle), center Steve Begin (concussion) and left wing
Dave Lowry (shoulder).shoulder