The Minnesota Wild fell to the Calgary Flames 4-3 Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Defensive lapses continue to plague the Wild. All four Flames goals can be attributed to a breakdown by the Wild.

A turnover in the defensive zone and the defensemen trying to join the rush created a three-man scoring chance with no defenders below the top of the circles.

Jarome Iginla scored his 35th career goal against the Wild, more than anyone else in this the 12th year of existence for the Wild, on a wide-open tap-in from Alex Tanguay. Iginla later assisted on the third goal by fanning on a slap shot attempt that right to Curtis Glencross on the backdoor.

“It’s a lack of urgency on our part,” Mike Yeo. “Urgency to backup the defensemen and urgency to keep the puck out of the net.”

Matt Hackett, making his fourth start and ninth appearance of the season, was sharp early holding the Flames to one goal through two periods.

The Flames (32-25-12) extended its lead to 2-0 with the first career NHL goal by 2012 first round draft pick Sven Baertschi at the 1:43 mark of the third period.

Erik Christensen quickly erased the deficit with a pair of goals two minutes and 20 seconds apart early in the third period.

“I missed scoring,” Christensen said. “It’s been 14 or 15 games here at Minnesota, but it goes a lot longer than that.”

The Wild clawed its way back into the game with Christensen’s goals, but made a couple more mistakes that opened the door for the Flames.

The Wild failed to pick up Flames forwards in the defensive zone on the first three goals, but the game-winner came on a two-on-one rush as Jared Spurgeon was unable to slow or keep up with Olli Jokinen.

“We put our backs against the wall,” Christensen said. “For whatever reason, it bit us in the butt. We’re not a team that can be in that situation right now.”

Devin Setoguchi made the game interesting late by pulling a loose puck away from Miikka Kiprusoff and shooting it into the open net with one minute and four seconds remaining in the game.

The Wild had some chances to tie the game in the final minute, but most of them came with under 30 seconds remaining.

The Wild look like a defeated team. With 13 games remaining and eight points out of eighth place in the Western Conference, the Wild are on the cusp of being officially eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Erik Christensen. The Wild forward scored his first two goals as a member of the Wild.

No. 2 – Jarome Iginla. The Flames forward scored a goal and had an assist.

No. 1 – Curtis Glencross. The Flames forward scored and assisted on the last two Flames goals.


Calgary         1 0 3 – 4

Minnesota     0 0 3 – 3

       First Period – 1, Calgary, Iginla 29 (Tanguay, Stajan), 9:31. Penalties – Kassian, Min, major (fighting), 10:38; Desbiens, Cgy, major (fighting), 10:38; Bench, Cgy (too many men on the ice; served by Baertshi), 18:27.

       Second Period – None. Penalties – None.

       Third Period – 2, Calgary, Baertschi 1 (Smith, Kostopoulos), 1:43. 3, Minnesota, Christensen 2 (unassisted), 2:10. 4, Minnesota, Christensen 3 (Spurgeon, Veilleux), 4:30. 5, Calgary, Glencross 25 (Iginla), 10:17. 6, Calgary, Jokinen 21 (Moss, Glencross), 14:42. 7, Minnesota, Setoguchi 18 (Brodziak, Gilbert), 18:56. Penalties – None.

       Shots on goal – Calgary 13-5-7 25. Minnesota 5-7-15 27.

       Goalies – Calgary, Kiprusoff(24-27). Minnesota, Hackett (21-25). A – 17,119. Referees – Stephen Walkom, Francois St. Laurent. Linesmen – Scott Driscoll, Lonnie Cameron.