Calgary gets first series win in 15 years

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Jarome Iginla's first season

as Calgary captain has become the Flames' most successful campaign

in 15 years.

Iginla scored all but the last Flames goal Monday, and he assisted on that one.
Iginla scored all but the last Flames goal Monday, and he assisted on that one.
AP

Iginla scored two goals and assisted on Martin Gelinas'

power-play winner 1:25 into overtime, giving the Flames a 3-2

victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 Monday night and their

first playoff series win since they captured the Stanley Cup in 1989.

"Jarome Iginla tonight was a dominating player," Calgary coach

Darryl Sutter said. "In my 25 years, the game tonight was as

dominating as I've seen one player in one game of playoff hockey."

Iginla's second goal midway through the third period gave the

Flames a 2-1 lead, but he missed an empty net late and then tripped

over his stick at center ice, leading to Matt Cooke's tying goal

with 5.7 seconds left in regulation.

Instead of folding, the Flames, who lost Game 6 in triple

overtime, came out and scored quickly on a power play early in

overtime.

With Ed Jovanovski in the penalty box for a high-sticking

penalty with 27 seconds left, Alex Auld robbed Iginla on a rebound.

But the puck bounced right to Gelinas at the side of the net and he

snapped it past the fallen goaltender.

"It was a heartbreaker with five seconds left, and I felt bad

for Iggy," Gelinas said. "He was our leader all game long, then

he steps on his stick and they score. We came back and said 'so be

it' and we kept on moving. Fortunately we got a good bounce in OT

and came out on top."

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 26 shots and Craig Conroy had two

assists for Calgary, which won three of four games on the road.

The sixth-seeded Flames, who were 0-7 since 1991 when they had a chance to win a series, will take on the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

"It's been 15 years since we've had a second round," said

Iginla, who recorded a game-high nine shots. "Calgary is a great

hockey city and I know it's been tough on the fans, and they

deserve this."

Playing without No. 1 goaltender Dan Cloutier, who sprained his

ankle in Game 3, and forward Todd Bertuzzi, who was suspended for

punching Colorado's Steve Moore, the third-seeded Canucks failed to

reach the second round for the third time in four years.

Auld, a 23-year-old rookie making his third straight start ahead

of regular backup Johan Hedberg, finished with 25 saves. But it

wasn't enough.

"In the end, you have to compliment their superstar player,"

Canucks coach Marc Crawford said of Iginla. "He showed up and was

outstanding. That was as good a game as I've seen anybody play in

my time."

Iginla opened the scoring on a breakaway 12:50 into the second

period, just 11 seconds after Kiprusoff stymied a Canucks power

play.

Kiprusoff made point-blank saves off Jovanovski and Daniel Sedin

just before Conroy came out of the penalty box and skated to

Matthew Lombardi's long pass at center ice. Conroy fed Iginla

streaking down the right wing, and the Calgary captain snapped a

hard shot between Auld's legs.

Cooke tied it 7:32 into the third period, but took a double-minor penalty for high-sticking. Cooke was hit by Andrew Ference, and his stick came up and clipped Rhett Warrener and bloodied his face.

Iginla scored his series-high fifth goal on the ensuing power

play, cutting to the net to get to a rebound and spinning from

backhand to forehand before tucking the puck past Auld.

"The more on the line, the more fun they are to play and the

more fun they are to win," said Iginla, playing his first full NHL

playoff series. "You dream about them when you're younger, to be

in an OT Game 7."

Cooke redeemed himself by banging in the rebound just before the

clock was set to run out on the Canucks.

Despite missing two regulars on defense and several key

forwards, the Flames never stopped believing they could win.

"Regardless of whether we scored on the power play, we felt we

were going to win this game," Iginla said. "We really believed it,

and fortunately we got it.

Game notes

Calgary D Steve Montador played his first playoff game, in place of Denis Gauthier. ... This was the third straight playoff series the Canucks hosted Game 7. They split the first two last year, beating St. Louis in the first round before losing to Minnesota in the second. ... The last two times these teams met in the playoffs, Game 7 of the first round went into overtime. In each case, the winner advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. Calgary won its only Cup in 1989, and the Canucks lost in the finals to the New York Rangers in seven games in 1994.