The Colorado Avalanche winger scored two goals with the man
advantage to help his team to an early 3-0 lead, but with the Ottawa
Senators scoring a pair to make a game of it, he took an tripping
penalty in the offensive at the 15:59 mark of the third.
The Avalanche killed off the Iginla minor, however, and wound up
with a 4-3 victory at Canadian Tire Centre to snap a four-game
"Oh my gosh, I was dying over there (in the penalty box)," Iginla
said. "That's what you don't want to do, go on the forecheck and
give them a 200-feet-away penalty. That was a demonstration of what
not to do.
"I was pretty nervous over there. If felt great to see them kill it.
Both the power plays tonight were clicking. I was on edge."
Clicking is right. The Avalanche were 3-for-4 with the man
advantage, while the Senators were 2-for-4 on the power play.
Even so, improvement with one-half of the special teams was no
consolation for a Senators team that lost its second in a row and
remains five points back of the second Eastern Conference wild-card
spot with four teams to catch below the cut line.
"It's tough to take positives when you're (five) points out of the
playoffs and you lose a game," Senators winger Mark Stone said. "We
need to win games right now. That's all there is to it."
While Iginla snapped out of a nine-game slump with his 14th and 15th
of the season, center Nathan MacKinnon and winger Blake Comeau also
scored for the Avalanche.
Stone and fellow wingers Mike Hoffman and Chris Neil had the Ottawa
goals, while defenseman Dion Phaneuf chipped in with two assists in
his first game at Canadian Tire Centre as a Senator.
Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov had 26 saves, while Senators goalie
Andrew Hammond stopped 23 shots.
Iginla scored the only goal of the first period with Senators
defenseman Mark Borowieicki serving the second half of a double
minor. MacKinnon notched his 19th early in the second, and Iginla
picked up his second of the night for a 3-0 edge at the 6:54 mark of
the middle period, putting Colorado on line for a route.
However, Stone and Hoffman tallied before the intermission, and it
remained a one-goal game until Comeau scored an empty-netter at
18:56 of the third.
Neil scored with 26 seconds remaining, but it was too little, too
"It was a big win for us when it hasn't been going our way," Iginla
said. "For them to come back and to make a very close game of it and
to hold them off in the third period and play a good, smart game
with the lead, it definitely feels good.
"Now we want to keep going. It is a weight off our shoulders
breaking the bad slide. Now we've got to build upon this."
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Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pointed to a save by Varlamov off
Hoffman while Iginla served his late minor as a key.
"That was a big moment in the game for us. Four minutes left in the
game and we had to kill that one. Varly said, 'Let me see the puck
and I'll be fine,' and that's what the guys did. He made a great
save ... on Hoffman on that shot with the pad.
"They had a few good chances. They made a push in the third. That's
the way it is. They came back, and we played well enough to hang on
Phaneuf liked the push-back by his new team, and he was moved by the
reception Ottawa fans gave him, as the former captain of the
cross-province Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It gave me chills," he said of the ovation when his face was shown
on the center-ice scoreboard early in the first. "I wish I could
have waved and really said thank you, but at that point in the game,
I'm focused on playing, but I knew what they were doing. I want to
say thanks to them, because that's an extremely classy move by the
fans, to welcome me to Ottawa. I felt it, and I appreciate it."
Phaneuf added, "(We have to) draw on positives, and come back to
work again tomorrow and be ready for Saturday," when they are in
Columbus to play the Blue Jackets.
Neil called the loss frustrating.
"These are points we need," he said. "We still believe in here. We
still believe we can get to where we need to be to make playoffs,
but you've got to win games to do that."
NOTES: Senators D Chris Wideman came out of the lineup while D
Patrick Wiercioch, who was a healthy scratch Wednesday in Detroit,
drew back in. ... Senators C Nick Paul was a scratch for the fourth
consecutive game since being recalled from AHL Binghamton last week.
Paul has yet to make his NHL debut. ... Senators G Andrew Hammond
celebrated his 28th birthday Thursday. ... Avalanche D Zach Redmond
was scratched for the third game in a row, and Nate Guenin was
scratched for the 13th consecutive game. ... The Avalanche was
playing the first of a three-game road trip that continues in
Detroit on Friday. Colorado is 5-2-0 in the second of back-to-back
games this season.
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