CALGARY — Jarome Iginla scored his 100th career game-winning goal and added an assist against his former team as the Los Angeles Kings kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
With the scored tied 1-1, Iginla’s goal with 46 seconds remaining in the second period gave the visitors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
In a mad scramble around the Flames crease, Iginla couldn’t get his shot through but Calgary defenceman Mark Giordano, lying flat on his belly, accidentally swept the puck into his own net while trying to pull the puck under Brian Elliott, who was also sprawled on the ice.
It was Iginla’s fifth goal in 13 games since being acquired by Los Angeles at the trade deadline. It also gives the former Flame 624 goals for his career, moving him to within one of Joe Sakic for 15th all-time.
Trevor Lewis, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter also scored for Los Angeles (36-33-7). The Kings trail the Flames by 11 points with six games remaining.
Dougie Hamilton had the lone goal for Calgary (43-30-4) while Johnny Gaudreau had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (2 goals, 8 assists). The Flames entered the night in the first wild card spot, two points up on St. Louis Blues, who were playing on the road in Arizona.
The Flames can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Friday when the San Jose Sharks visit the Saddledome.
The Kings took a 3-1 lead at 6:09 when Kopitar one-timed a shot past Elliott after a pretty passing play with Marian Gaborik and Jake Muzzin.
Carter made it 4-1 when he was set-up by Iginla at 12:40.
It was a chippy game all night. One of the featured storylines going in was it being the first meeting between feisty Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk and Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty since Feb. 28, the night Tkachuk was suspended two games for elbowing the Kings defencemen in the face.
It was evident early that the incident was still top of mind as even in the pre-game warm-up, a few players from both teams came together at centre where Tkachuk was stretching and exchanged words.
At 3:05, the anticipated fight came when Kings defenceman Brayden McNabb dropped the gloves with Tkachuk.
Tkachuk and Doughty had another run-in in the second period when the Flames rookie tried to level the Kings defenceman with an open-ice hit that Doughty ducked under, leading to another melee.
Later in the first period, Iginla fought Flames defenceman Deryk Engelland.
Ben Bishop made 25 saves for the Kings. Bishop is 2-2-2 since being acquired from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.
Elliott had 29 stops, losing for just the second time in his last 15 starts. He falls to 25-15-3 on the season.
Notes: Iginla is second among active NHLers with those 100 game-winning goals… Gaborik had two assists in his return to the line-up after being a healthy scratch Tuesday in Edmonton… Lewis played in his 500th game while Flames LW Lance Bouma played in career game No. 300.