VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The screaming hot Canucks ran smack into a bucket of ice water Thursday in the form of Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri.
Cammalleri scored three times - the last two on perfect passes from new linemate Iginla - and Glencross added the winner on a breakaway with 6:31 left in the Calgary Flames' 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Vancouver had earned a least a point in each of their last ten games and were looking for their third win of the year over the Flames.
It wasn’t meant to be.
The Calgary victory moved the Flames within three points of the Northwest Division-leading Canucks - with a chance to close the gap Saturday night in the rematch in Alberta.
"The best feeling about this is the win," said Cammalleri, who had 11 two-goal games. "Maybe we didn't say it out loud, but we were all thinking we need to win these two games to get back to where we want to be and you can't win them both if you don't win the first one."
Cammalleri's hat trick goal gave the Flames a 3-2 lead 1:18 into the third period, but Mason Raymond tied it with his first goal in 10 games on a 2-on-1 break on a delayed penalty, setting the stage for Glencross 2 minutes later.
Glencross intercepted Alex Edler's errant pass at the Vancouver blue line, skating in alone and beating Curtis Sanford with a high backhand shot.
"The finish was impressive, to go to the backhand like that in that situation, game-winner, third period, on the road," Cammalleri said. "That goal says something about his play.
Darcy Hordichuk, with his first for Vancouver, and Daniel Sedin also scored for the Canucks, who lost in regulation for the first time in 11 games (8-1-2).
"We gave them a couple bang-bang plays that we haven't been giving up, but it would have been nice to make a couple saves for the guys there," said Sanford, who made 29 saves but lost for the first time in four games - the last three after star goalie Roberto Luongo hurt his groin last Saturday in Pittsburgh. "We're going to have to make sure we bring a better game on Saturday."
The swings in momentum Thursday were frequent and severe – and mostly a result of special teams. Holding a 2-1 lead early in the third, the Canucks couldn’t take advantage of a lengthy two-man advantage.
Again in the third with a chance to tie, the power play fell flat.
“Overall our power play was pretty poor tonight and it's something we have to improve on,” said Mattias Ohlund, who logged 20 minutes of ice against the Flames.
The Canucks went 0-for-4 while the Flames finished 1for-2 with the man advantage.
The power play wasn’t the only cylinder on the fritz Thursday. A normally tight defensive Canucks team gave the puck up on more than a dozen occasions.
A guy who scores in bunches scored a bunch Thursday against the Canucks.
Pretty set-up on Raymond's tying ghoal in the third, but he was simply the best of a quiet bunch.
The Flames were the better team because they worked harder, and Iggy led that charge.
“I think we made some mistakes that they were able to pounce on and make us pay for,” said Vigneault. “Whether it was defensive zone turnovers or neutral zone turnovers, they were able to jump on those. They played better than we did tonight and they were better on the puck.
"It was a hard fought game but they were the better team tonight.”
Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves, and Iginla and Daymond Langkow each added two assists, as Calgary won for the fourth time in five games.
Cammalleri's first goal was also the 100th of his career, and it came on a good break - a power-play pass from the goal line that went in off defenseman Sami Salo's skate. His next two were perfect one-timers after nice passes from Iginla, who was moved onto a line with Cammalleri and Matthew Lombardi the last game.
"He can get (his shot) off quick," Iginla, who extended his point streak to five games (two goals, five assists) said about Cammalleri. "(Coach Mike Keenan) shifted the lines and as a group all our lines are looking better and developing chemistry."
None more than Iginla and Cammalleri, who got his second goal on a delayed penalty, snapping in Iginla's cross-ice feed before Sanford could get across his net to tie the game 2-2 with 2:59 left in the second period.
Cammalleri scored his third from the left faceoff circle, snapping a quick shot over Sanford's pad on the short side after Iginla's pass from behind the net.
"He's one of he best players in the world," Cammalleri said. "He draws so much attention and he showed tonight how underrated his passing is. That second goal was one of the best passes I've had ever. He's amazing to play with."
Kiprusoff was at his best shortly before Cammalleri's second goal, stopping Jannik Hansen on a breakaway and getting his blocker out to rob Mason Raymond at the end of consecutive power plays that included a 53-second 5-on-3. He also got some help when Daniel Sedin missed an empty net during the two-man advantage.
"That was one of the turning points," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had an opportunity to make it 3-1 and our execution was off. They did a good job of killing that penalty. The good thing about this is we get an opportunity to get right back at it Saturday night. It's our first loss in quite some time."
Notes: Vancouver, which swept a home-and-home series with Calgary to start the season, plays its next seven games on the road. Both teams were missing two forwards from their previous wins. Calgary was without Dustin Boyd (shoulder) and Wayne Primeau (foot), while the Canucks were missing Steve Bernier (shoulder) and Ryan Johnson, who played six weeks with a broken foot before being sidelined by a broken finger. Johnson is expected to miss three to five weeks. ... Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa, who leads the defense in scoring and the team average ice time, returned just two weeks and six games after being diagnosed with a broken foot.