Iginla's 2 goals help Flames beat Habs
Calgary Flames' Curtis Glencross celebrates his game winning goal during third period NHL hockey action against the Montreal Canadiens in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. The Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CALGARY - Jarome Iginla scored his team-leading 26th and 27th goals as the slumping Calgary Flames picked up a critical two points Tuesday night, winning 5-4 over the Montreal Canadiens.
Iginla's second goal of the night with 1:18 left in the second period was the back-breaker for the Canadiens, giving Calgary a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Skating down the wing, the Flames captain failed to get a shot away while being defended by Josh Gorges, but he carried the puck behind the Canadiens net and tucked the shot inside the near goal post before goaltender Carey Price could get across.
Calgary remains in 11th spot in the tight Western Conference. The Flames entered the night three points back of the eighth place San Jose Sharks and two points behind Los Angeles and Colorado.
Price had only himself to blame when Curtis Glencross scored the eventual game-winner at 7:16 of the third period. Price went behind the net and on his attempted backhanded clear, he put the puck right on the stick of Glencross, who buried his 23rd goal into the empty net to make it 5-2.
Glencross has scored in five straight games and is one goal away from his career-high, set last year.
David Moss and Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary (30-25-12). The Flames ended a five-game winless skid at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Max Pacioretty with a pair, Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller scored for Montreal (25-32-10). The Canadiens, kicking off a four-game road trip, have lost seven of their last eight.
Despite trailing by three goals in the third period, Montreal did not quit.
Eller's shot deflected off a Flames player's skate and past Miikka Kiprusoff at 8:57 to make it 5-3.
Pacioretty then scored from a scramble to cut the lead to one at 12:06, setting up a harrowing final eight minutes for the sellout crowd of 19,289.
Despite being outplayed to that point, Montreal tied the game 2-2 at 9:28 of the second period when Pacioretty's harmless-looking wrist shot from a sharp angle went in off Kiprusoff's glove.
Calgary regained the lead at 13:44 when Giordano ripped a wicked slapshot past Price, high on the glove side.
Calgary dominated the first period and were four seconds away from taking a 2-0 lead to the intermission before Plekanec was set up by a slick no-look backhand pass by Eller and scored into an empty net.
The late power play goal was one of the lone first-period highlights for Montreal, which was outshot 18-9.
The Flames opened the scoring for the ninth game in a row when Moss deflected Giordano's shot past Price at 10:06. The goal came just seconds after Glencross was robbed in-close after breaking through the Canadiens defence and getting a dangerous chance.
Just over two minutes later, Matt Stajan made a smart play to chip the puck off the boards to Iginla, who drove to the net off the wing and tucked a close-in shot behind Price.
Stajan, normally the team’s fourth line centre, found himself on the Flames top line Tuesday night due to the upper body injury suffered by former Canadien Mike Cammalleri in Sunday's loss to Dallas.
Cammalleri was traded by Montreal to Calgary on January 12 in exchange for Rene Bourque. In his first game against his former team, Bourque was a non-factor with no points, no shots, and finishing a minus-2.
The final shots were 34-28 for the Flames, the first time in 15 games Calgary has outshot its opponent.
Notes: The two teams were missing a combined 15 players due to injury. Calgary’s total could grow to eight next game as RW Tim Jackman (upper body) left after being hit on his first shift of the game… Kiprusoff’s 305th career win ties him with Billy Smith for 23rd on the all-time list… Iginla’s 511 career goals is one back of Gilbert Perreault for 37th on the all-time list… Calgary’s fourth line was consisted of players recalled from Abbotsford (AHL) on Sunday – C Greg Nemisz, LW Krys Kolanos and RW Guillaume Desbiens… Calgary LW Tom Kostopoulos played in career game No. 600.