Kiprusoff Solid In Roasting Ducks

Flames Win Three in A Row

February 13th, 2004

Who needs luck?

The Calgary Flames stared the black cat of calendar dates, Friday the 13th, straight in the face and came out with a hard fought nail biter, 2-1 over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at the Saddledome tonight.

A club doesn't need a whole lot of luck, good or bad, when they get top notch goaltending, and that was exactly the case on Friday night.

Miikka Kiprusoff faced only 26 shots on the night, but was steady and calm throughout the contest in making 25 saves and leading his club to their third straight contest.

For Kiprusoff it was his second straight win after coming off a six week knee injury rehab, the bread surrounding Roman Turek's victory in Vancouver in a streak sandwich.

The Calgary Flames now head out on the road for a very difficult road trip with a six point cushion for a playoff spot, a bulge that few would have predicted just a week ago for a team that couldn't put back to back wins together for over six weeks.

The game itself was robbed of any real flow by the officials with nine penalties called in the games first 30 some minutes, leaving both coaches with little choice but to shorten up their benches and tire out the core of their respective teams.

The Flames gassed their first two man advantages in the first period but finally hit PP pay dirt when Jordan Leopold floated a seeing eye shot through traffic and past a startled J.S. Giguere. If Giguere's shoulder pads were just a touch taller and a little bit wider he might have had it, but I digress.

The Ducks got in penalty trouble again the second period when Vinnie Prospal argued a Sergei Fedorov hooking penalty and landed in the box himself, sending the Flames to a two minute, two man advantage.

The streaking Jarome Iginla took full advantage when he drilled a Craig Conroy cross ice pass through Giguere for his 28th goal of the season.

The goal was Iginla's 9th goal in his last seven games and incredibly the Flames captain has 16 of his 28 markers in the last six weeks.

A few minutes later it was pay back time with the first of four straight penalties called against Calgary resulting in a puck behind Kiprusoff, though it wasn't immediately obvious.

Steve Rucchin took a pass in the slot and fired the puck past Kiprusoff into the net and out off the goal post. When play finally stopped a few minutes later the officials went upstairs, checked the replay and called it a goal.

That was it for the scoring on the night.

The Flames came out a little jittery in the third period, but settled down and prevented the Ducks from mounting any serious forays into the Calgary zone. 

When the Ducks did penetrate the Calgary line, the ever cool Kiprusoff turned pucks aside and preserved the win.

The victory moves the Flames nine games over .500 for the fourth time this season, giving them a chance to finally get that +10 monkey off their backs Sunday in Minnesota. 

Tonight's game, a contest very similar to many of the team's wins through their streak in December, is exactly the type of game they'll need to play to be successful in five very onerous hockey barns.

A good trip now can go a long ways towards the club's first playoff appearance in seven long years.





1 Miikka Kiprusoff - Made the routine shots look easy and the tough shots routine.  

2 Sergei Fedorov - The game's best skater, dominant offensively and defensively. Earned his 999th point on the night. 

3 Jarome Iginla - Didn't do a lot throughout the night, but blasted his 7th game winner of the season.

Just after Calgary had scored to take a 1-0 lead Kiprusoff flung himself across the crease to stone rookie Joffrey Lupul with a quick glove.

Denis Gauthier up to his old tricks again caught Petr Sykora with his head down leaving the Anaheim zone and drilled him with an open ice hit.

Another good night for the Flames on the out of town scoreboard with the Kings, Coyotes, and Oilers all losing, and the Canucks down to the Thrashers at press time. The Wild and Predators both won. ... The Flames strengthen their hold on the 5th place, two points up on the Dallas Stars, three points up on the 7th place Kings, and four points up on the 8th place Predators. ... Their magic number for clinching a playoff spot dropped to 23 on the St. Louis Blues with 25 games left to play. ... If the Canuck's drop tonight's game with Atlanta the Flames will be six points back with a game in hand. ... After a slow start coming back from a busted leg, Steve Reinprecht now has points in three straight games. ... All three goals tonight were scored on the powerplay. ... Jarome Iginla now sits only three goals back of league leader Rick Nash. ... The Flames were 2 for 6 on the powerplay, Anaheim 1 for 4. ... The face off king Ducks destroyed the Flames in the circle, taking 61% of the draws. Sammy Pahlsson won 72% of his draws, Steve Rucchin chimed in at 68%. Craig Conroy was the Flames' best winning 15 of 31. ... Jarome Iginla led all Flame skaters with 23:21 of ice. All six defenceman had between 18 and 21 minutes apiece. ... Steve Reinprecht (not a misprint) led all Calgary shooters with five shots on goal. ... The Flames don't have a single player in the NHL's top 30 in plus minus. Oddly, the Edmonton Oilers have three. ... The Flames trail only the Tampa Bay Lightning for number of hat tricks this season with three. The Bolts have four. ... Miikka Kiprusoff moves his league leading goals against average down to 1.48. He also leads the league with a .942 save percentage. ... The injured Jamie McLennan backed up Kiprusoff tonight so Roman Turek could be with his wife and newborn child.

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