Flames 3, Wild 1
CALGARY, Alberta -- It was billed as 'Retro Night' at the Scotiabank Saddledome, so it wouldn't have seemed right if a shootout was required.
And although Saturday night's Northwest Division battle will not be confused with a run-and-gun game from yesteryear, Calgary center Matt Stajan ensured extra time wasn't necessary in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild.
Stajan scored the winner on a wild scramble at 7:19 of the third period, poking a rebound across the goal line after Chris Butler's blast from the point. Flames captain Jarome Iginla was standing his ground in front of Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom on the play and was credited with an assist.
The ugly goal was a fitting end to a game not necessarily easy on the eyes. Stajan added an empty-netter with eight seconds remaining.
With a ton of icing stoppages and few good scoring chances for either side, it was what fans have come to expect when the Flames (6-7-3) and Wild (8-6-2) meet.
The difference was Flames goalie Joey MacDonald, who posted his first win at the Saddledome by kicking aside 30 shots. Backstrom made 24 saves for the Wild.
The Flames opened the scoring on a retro-type play.
Wild right winger Dany Heatley, who was raised in Calgary, botched a pass to captain Mikko Koivu on a two-on-one rush and Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester grabbed the loose puck and fired a perfect breakaway pass to Alex Tanguay.
Although Calgary's leading point-producer hadn't scored in seven games, Tanguay showed soft hands on his all-alone opportunity, making a tricky deke around Backstrom and roofing a shot.
The Wild tied it on Charlie Coyle's first NHL goal, a redirection of Pierre-March Bouchard's pass at 8:56 of the first period.
The Flames will play host to Phoenix on Sunday and the Wild will head home for Tuesday's rematch with Calgary.
NOTES: Heading into Saturday night's meeting with the Wild, the Flames had one of the NHL's worst home records at 2-5-2. ... Wild coach Mike Yeo weighed in on Taylor Hall's two-game suspension after Saturday's morning skate. "We were confident that the league was going to take care of it," he said. "Now, we have to move forward." Wild right winger Cal Clutterbuck, who was injured on a reckless hit by Edmonton's Hall in Thursday's meeting at Rexall Place, was not on crutches before Saturday's game, which could be a good sign. ... Flames rookie left winger Sven Baertschi returned to the lineup after missing 11 games because of a hip flexor injury. The Flames are still without goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who has missed nine games with a knee injury ... The Wild, who have employed six rookies already this season, made center Mikael Granlund a healthy scratch. The Flames' scratches included winger Roman Cervenka, the former KHL all-star who has been struggling lately.
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