CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – With Jarome Iginla sitting out Calgary’s contest against Colorado, Mark Giordano acknowledged it was strange not to have the Flames’ captain in the locker room before the game.
He’ll have to get used to it on a permanent basis now.
Mike Cammalleri scored twice in the second period and the Flames held off the Avalanche 4-3 on Wednesday night before trading Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It was weird before not seeing him obviously,” said Giordano after the game, but before the trade was officially announced. “We addressed it in our team meeting. (Flames coach) Bob (Hartley) told us he wasn’t going to play tonight.
“He’s a good friend and a great teammate. It was a little bit tough at the start, but I thought we did a good job of playing a good game, working hard and getting the win. Whatever happens, we’ll hope for the best for Iggy especially.”
The Flames received college prospects Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski, and a first-round pick in this summer’s draft.
Iginla was announced as a healthy scratch two hours before the start of the game. He sat out for the first time since April 8, 2007, in Colorado, ending his consecutive games streak at 441.
The 35-year-old Iginla is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. He has nine goals and 13 assists in 31 games this season. In 1,219 career regular-season games in 16 seasons, all with Calgary, Iginla has 525 goals and 570 assists. He has 28 goals and 21 assists in 54 career playoff games and has played for Canada in three Olympics.
Agostino plays for Yale, and Hanowski at St. Cloud State. Both are forwards.
Even without Iginla, the Flames got their eighth straight home win.
“I give lots of credit to our players, because they showed great focus,” Hartley said. “I really believe that we did a great job, we kept battling, we got some timely goals, and at the end there we were able to play solid in our zone and that’s why we got the win.
“We have lots of great veterans, so obviously leadership is not a problem.”
Jiri Hudler and Steve Begin also scored for the Flames, while Blake Comeau had two assists.
Joey MacDonald made 27 saves starting in place of Miikka Kiprusoff, who had played the previous four games, including Calgary’s 2-0 loss at Chicago on Tuesday night.
Jamie McGinn, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly scored for the Avalanche, who have lost three straight games and seven of their previous eight. PA Parenteau had two assists.
Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov meanwhile stopped 23-of-27 shots.
Avalanche forward Matt Duchene credited the Flames for coming out hard despite the fact they played the night before and that they were without Iginla.
“It should have worked in our favor and it didn’t,” Duchene said. “They were ready to play. Distractions can hurt a hockey team. Give them a lot of credit, they didn’t let it affect them.”
The Flames outshot the Avs 14-2 in the first period and took a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal by Hudler and an even-strength score by Begin, his first goal in 17 games.
McGinn scored for Colorado at 4:29 of the second before Cammalleri answered back for Calgary just 12 seconds later to put the Flames up 3-1.
Shortly after MacDonald made a nice glove save, the backup goalie let in a weak goal when a pass by Landeskog bounced off the net, then off his skate and in.
Before the end of the second period, Cammalleri one-timed a pass from Dennis Wideman past Varlamov to put the Flames up 4-2.
The Avs poured on the pressure in the third, outshooting the Flames 16-2, and were rewarded for their persistence when O’Reilly scored during a two-man advantage with 7:26 to go.
In the late stages of the game, Colorado coach Joe Sacco pulled Varlamov from the net in favor of an extra attacker. With 25.2 seconds left on the clock MacDonald made another nice glove save to stop a shot off Duchene’s stick and preserve the victory.
“The effort was there down the stretch and at the end in the third period,” Sacco said. “They had the lead. They’re playing with the lead and they played last night so they were a little bit tired. We let them off the hook in the first period. That’s the bottom line.”
NOTES: Cammalleri ended a nine-game goal-scoring drought. He had also gone four straight games without a point. … Along with their home win streak, the Flames have lost 10 in a row on the road, going 0-9-1. … Parenteau drew an assist on McGinn’s goal to give him two goals and two assists in his past three games. For McGinn, it was his second goal in two games.
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