Iginla tops NHL chart for November
Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton and New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for November.
FIRST STAR-- JAROME IGINLA, RW, CALGARY FLAMES
Iginla led all scorers with 20 points (13-7--20) in 14 games, helping the Flames post a 10-2-2 record and take first place in the Northwest Division. Iginla recorded goals in nine of 14 games and tallied three game-winners, beginning with an overtime strike that capped a three-point performance in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Nov. 4. He tallied the game-winner in consecutive contests less than a week later, coming in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers Nov. 7 and a 1-0 decision over the Montreal Canadiens Nov. 10. The Flames captain also scored his ninth career hat trick in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 21. Iginla leads the Flames in scoring with 29 points (17 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games.
SECOND STAR -- JOE THORNTON, C, SAN JOSE SHARKS
Thornton also tallied 20 points in November, including a League-leading 16 assists, as the Sharks posted a 9-2-3 record and ended the month first in the NHL overall standings (18-6-4). Thornton recorded assists in 10 of 14 games, beginning with a pair in a 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 1 -- the Sharks' first win in Raleigh since Oct. 24, 2000. He tallied four assists in a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Nov. 20, reaching the NHL Milestone of 600 for his career. He tallied the game-winning goal plus an assist in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 21 and collected three more assists in a 5-4 shootout win at Edmonton Nov. 27. Thornton moved up to second place in the NHL scoring race with 37 points (seven goals, 30 assists), concluded the month with an active eight-game point streak (3-12--15) and has tallied points in each of his past 14 road games (6-15--21).
THIRD STAR -- MARIAN GABORIK, RW, NEW YORK RANGERS
Gaborik tallied 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 13 games, moving into first place in the NHL scoring race and becoming the first player to reach the 20-goal mark. Gaborik notched points in 11 games, beginning with the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins Nov. 1. He recorded a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 6, scored two goals a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Nov. 17 and recorded a season-high four points (two goals, two assists) in a 7-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Nov. 23. Gaborik finished the month by scoring twice, his 20th and 21st goals of the season, in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Nov. 30. Gaborik leads all scorers with 37 points (21 goals, 16 assists) in 25 games. He has tallied 34 goals in his past 42 contests.
Bourque set to return
Forward Rene Bourque is set to make a return to the Calgary Flames line-up.
Bourque, who has missed six games with an undisclosed upper body injury, has told reporters covering the team on their current six-game road trip that he will definitely be ready for Thursday's game against Phoenix.
Word is Bourque might have been able to play on Monday in Columbus but, with an extra three days to recover, the Flames opted to keep him out of the line-up. He has been practising with the team since late last week and is participating fully in all drills at practice.
They are the road warriors
The Flames, with a 5-0 win over Nashville Monday set a team record by collecting points in 10 consecutive road games. The Flames are 8-0-2 in their last 10 away from the Pengrowth Saddledome and have not lost a road game in regulation since October 13 when they last 2-1 in Columbus.
Along the way they have dusted Dallas, St. Louis, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, Detroit, Columbus and Nashville. The losses, both in shootouts, came against Anaheim and Buffalo.
According to defenceman Adam Pardy, who scored his second of the season in the 5-0 win Monday over Nashville, the Flames have been working hard to push the play to the outside and limit their turnovers since a 7-1 loss on home ice to the Chicago Blackhawks on November 19.
"It is a learning experience," he said on Sportsnet following the game. "It is something we have been working on since the Chicago game when we gave up way too many goals. We knew we had to tighten up in the neutral zone and reduce our turnovers.
"It's a learning experience. We're shutting down the middle and keeping things to the outside. That's the way we want to play."
Flames forward Olli Jokinen admittedly got off to a slow start. However, he is certainly rounding into form. He had an assist in Monday's game and finished November with 14 points in 14 games (3 g 11 a).He was on the scoresheet in all but three games during the month...Adam Pardy is sporting a bruise and some stitches above his left eye. He took a clearing attempt from teammate Brian McGrattan Monday while on the bench. "No big deal. A couple of stitches and you move on," laughed Pardy...Forward Craig Conroy is still looking for his first goal of the season. He rang a shot off the post on Monday against Nashville. In the meantime, his line has done an excellent job as a checking unit...Jamie Lundmark recorded game winning goals in back-to-back games (Detroit and in a shootout in Columbus). He has also added two assists in the six games he has played for Calgary since being called up earlier this month. "He gives us another skilled player," said assistant coach Dave Lowry. "When he is moving his feet and making plays he is an effective player."
Did you know...
Miikka Kiprusoff has recorded back-to-back shutouts on this road trip, once on Friday in Detroit and the other Monday in Nashville. It is the third time in his career that he has recorded shutouts in back-to-back games...Calgary forward Nigel Dawes has goals in four consecutive games as the Flames head to Phoenix for a tilt against the Coyotes on Thursday on Flames Pay-Per-View at 7:30 pm MT.