Game Start Time
December 10th, 2013
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames will finally get a chance to give Jarome Iginla a proper goodbye.
They just hope it includes a warm reception and a loss.
Iginla returns to Calgary for the first time since getting traded by the lone franchise he had ever played for as his Boston Bruins visit the Flames on Tuesday night.
The 36-year-old Iginla played his way into the Flames record books during his 15-plus seasons with the club, becoming the franchise's all-time leader in goals (525), points (1,095) and games played (1,219). He was originally the 11th overall pick of the 1995 draft by Dallas, but never suited up with the Stars as he was traded to the Flames on Dec. 19, 1995 for Joe Nieuwendyk.
Iginla eventually became the face of the Flames franchise, but last season was the final of his five-year deal with the club and he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 27. He then signed with the Bruins as a free agent this past offseason.
"He's a Hall-of-Fame player. In my opinion probably the most recognizable Flame that this organization looked to for a long time," said Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano, who followed Iginla as the current captain of the club.
"He was a big part of our team. He was a great guy. Obviously last year it was tough to see him go but (Tuesday) is going to be special. We have to get through all that and still find a way to play a good game."
Iginla had five goals and 11 points in 13 regular-season games with the Penguins while adding four goals and 12 points in 15 postseason contests. He has notched six goals and 11 helpers in 30 games with the Bruins this season.
"I haven't put a lot of deep thought into it," Iginla said of his return. "I'm just trying to enjoy it, just come back. For me it feels like coming home. To see family, friends and familiar faces, honestly I'm just trying to come and enjoy it. I want to play well and win."
Iginla helped Boston win last time out as he was one of five goal scorers in a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist each in Boston's second straight win.
Torey Krug and Kevan Miller also scored and backup goaltender Chad Johnson made 30 saves as the Bruins improved to 12-3-1 in their last 16 games despite missing a host of players coming into the game and then losing defenseman Dougie Hamilton to a lower-body injury in the first period versus the Leafs.
Boston was already without forwards Shawn Thornton, Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly as well as defensemen Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk.
Both Eriksson and Kelly were hurt in Saturday's 3-2 win over Pittsburgh. Eriksson suffered a concussion and Kelly sustained a broken right fibula on a slash that will keep him out 4-to-6 weeks.
Thornton is facing an in-person hearing with the league for punching the Penguins' Brooks Orpik in the first period, while McQuaid and Boychuk are out with injury. There is a chance Boychuk could return tonight from a back sprain suffered on Dec. 5.
The Bruins won the opener of a four-game road trip and seek a fourth consecutive victory over the Flames. They posted a 9-0 rout in the most recent meeting on Jan. 5, 2012, with Tuukka Rask getting plenty of support in a 25- save shutout.
Rask is likely to get the call tonight and it would be his second career start versus the Flames.
Boston had gone 0-4-0 with a tie in its previous five at Calgary before a victory there on Feb. 22, 2011.
The Flames have won four of their last five and the rebuilding club is three points clear of Edmonton for last place in the Western Conference. They padded that advantage with Saturday's 2-1 overtime victory against the Oilers.
After Edmonton tied the game with 10.3 seconds left in regulation, Jiri Hudler secured the extra point for Calgary on a goal 3:14 into the bonus frame, converting a pass from Kris Russell with a one-time shot.
"Jiri deserves lots of credit, he was sick. He left the game (Friday versus Colorado) and went home sick," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. "It was a gutsy effort."
Lee Stempniak scored the other goal while Reto Berra stopped 30 shots for the Flames.
Berra will make his 13th career start tonight and first versus the Bruins.
Calgary had forwards Curtis Glencross (sprained MCL) and T.J. Galiardi (back spasms) on the ice for practice on Monday as both are nearing a return to action.