CALGARY – After the game, Brenden Morrow could only look back on it and laugh.
The Dallas Stars winger overcame scoring on his net to set up the tying and go-ahead goals Thursday night as the Dallas Stars got two goals from Mike Ribeiro in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
“We can laugh about it now but what an embarrassing feeling,” said Morrow.
At 15:34 of the first period, Jarome Iginla lost control of the puck as he attempted to carry it in front of the net. However, as it bounced through the slot, Morrow, attempting to clear the puck, inadvertently fired it into his own net past stunned goaltender Marty Turco.
“I was just trying to clear it and I caught it a little thin,” Morrow said. “It’s one of those things. It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me. I’ve seen it on highlights, laugh about it when it’s other people but when it’s you, it’s a different feeling.”
Noting that the puck came to him off the stick of Morrow’s Canadian Olympic teammate Iginla, Morrow quipped, “we had some good chemistry, but just a week too early.”
It was a night of highlight reel goals.
Ribiero’s tying goal at 15:00 of the second came when he tucked his stick back through his legs and fired the puck towards the Calgary net banking it in off the pad of sprawled Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
“It was behind the goal line and it was the only play. It was a little bit lucky but we’ll take that one. Hopefully you’ll put that on the top 10,” said Ribeiro, who said he scored on a similar play once before. “I do that all the time in practice, stuff like that, I guess it was the right time to do it.”
Dallas took the lead three minutes into the third period. From the corner, Morrow threaded a perfect pass to Jamie Benn darting through the slot uncovered and the Stars rookie quickly fired a wrist shot into the open side before Kiprusoff could slide across.
It was the 14th goal of the season for the 20-year-old, who ranks fourth in NHL rookie goal-scoring.
Ribeiro added his second of the night into an empty net with 10 seconds left for Dallas (27-21-12), which won the season series 3-0-1 and improves to 5-2-1 in its last eight.
The rare road victory for the Stars – their second in the last 15 games – moves them into a tie with Detroit for ninth place in the Western Conference, one point back of Calgary and the final playoff spot.
The Flames (29-23-9) continue to struggle at home, having won just twice in their last nine games at the Pengrowth Saddledome (2-6-1).
“We’ve got to find ways to score goals,” said Iginla. “We’ve got to be good defensively, good in our own zone, and we have been for a long time, but we’re capable of scoring more goals in here. We can’t expect to win consistently 1-0 or 2-1 all the time.”
Turco was excellent in net for the Stars, making 33 saves, all while being surrounded by trade speculation off the ice.
“I’ve been around long enough and done enough things, good and bad, to be able to put things behind me. I know I have the most fun when we’re winning and I’m playing well and giving these guys a chance to win,” said Turco. “Tonight was a lot of fun. Right at the end of the game, when you squeeze out a tight one in a tough barn against a team that’s hungry and playing well.”
His best stop came early in the second period when the veteran made a terrific poke check to knock the puck away from Curtis Glencross on a breakaway.
Calgary ended up 1-for-6 on the power play, which included squandering a power play over third period’s final 1:58 when Stephane Robidas was sent off for holding Iginla.
“We couldn’t put it in. It is obviously frustrating,” said Flames winger Niklas Hagman. “I know that everybody’s trying to score goals and obviously we want to play solidly defensively too.”
The Flames pulled Kiprusoff with one minute left giving them a two-man advantage but they could not tie it.
The closest they came was when Iginla’s shot from deep in the corner caromed off Turco and nearly squeezed through his pads into the net.
It was originally called a goal but after a lengthy video review, the call was overturned with referee Greg Kimmerly announcing that the puck did not cross the line.
Hagman was on the ice and was certain it went in.
“I’m 100 per cent sure it was an inch over,” said Hagman. “I could see the goal line too. For sure it was in. I thought the referee on the side saw it too.”
It was just the third time the Flames have lost a game in regulation after leading after the first period (24-3-4).
Notes: Iginla and Daymond Langkow were honoured in a pre-game ceremony for playing in their 1000th NHL game. They each reached the milestone during the Flames last road trip. Iginla is the 43rd player to have reached the mark with the same franchise. … Langkow has no goals in his last 19 games and just 11 on the season. Langkow has scored 20 or more goals in each of the last seven seasons. … Neither of Dallas’ recent acquisitions – G Kari Lehtonen (trade with Atlanta), or RW Brandon Segal (claimed off waivers from Los Angeles) were in uniform.