Flames 6 Oilers 1
CALGARY — Jarome Iginla scored a hat-trick in Calgary’s dominating 6-1 victory Wednesday night over the Edmonton Oilers, but it was all for naught as the Flames were officially eliminated from the NHL Western Conference playoff race.
Chicago’s 4-3 overtime victory over St. Louis earlier in the evening put the Blackhawks out of reach, then Anaheim hammered San Jose 6-2 to ensure the Ducks couldn’t be caught.
Rene Bourque, Alex Tanguay and Curtis Glencross also scored for Calgary (41-29-11), while Mikael Backlund had three assists.
Magnus Paajarvi had the lone goal for Edmonton (25-44-11). The Oilers had entered the night winners of back-to-back games against the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Iginla’s first of the night came at 13:18 of the second, putting the Flames ahead 2-0.
Iginla was set-up by Backlund and snapped a shot from the top of the face-off circle over Nikolai Khabibulin’s glove.
Three minutes later, Iginla scored again one-timing Tanguay’s cross-ice pass for a power-play goal to make it 3-0.
Iginla capped off his first three-goal game of the season scoring his 42nd goal at 6:47 of the third period, chipping in a backhand from the side of the net to make it 6-1.
As hats rained down at Scotiabank Saddledome, the crowd gave Iginla a standing ovation that eventually turned to chants of “Iggy, Iggy.”
It is the fourth time Iginla has surpassed 40 goals in his career and the first time he’s reached that mark since scoring 50 in 2007-08.
But it would be a bittersweet milestone for the Flames captain, who will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 14 seasons.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves for the victory to improve to 37-24-6 on the season and tie Mike Vernon for the franchise lead in career wins (262). The 34-year-old could get a chance to move past Vernon on Saturday night when the Flames wrap up the regular season against Vancouver.
Khabibulin had 41 saves for Edmonton to fall to 10-32-3.
With the loss, Edmonton clinched last place for the second consecutive year. It is the fifth year in a row out of the playoffs for the Oilers.
The game was scoreless after one period, despite a 20-3 edge in shots by Calgary, which thoroughly outplayed the Oilers.
The Flames stayed on the attack into the second period, finally solving long-time adversary Khabibulin at 3:44 when Rene Bourque wheeled out front and fired a high shot past the Oilers goaltender.
Tanguay scored 59 seconds into the third to make it 4-0, and after Paajarvi broke Kiprusoff’s shutout bid, Glencross and Iginla scored 23 seconds apart.
Notes: Flames C Greg Nemisz had an assist for his first NHL point . . . Alex Tanguay was stopped on a first period penalty shot . . . C Daymond Langkow made his first home appearance since returning from a neck injury on the two-game road trip . . . Flames D Jay Bouwmeester has yet to make the playoffs in his eight NHL seasons . . . Khabibulin’s career mark falls to 23-10-4, He is 1-4-1 versus the Flames as an Oiler.