Kiprusoff 0 So Perfect

Flames Shut Out Canes to Continue Home Run 

December 11th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Before the season the game marked "Carolina at Calgary" wouldn't be circled in a schedule as an all-important contest for the Calgary Flames.

Out of division, out of confernce, out of mind are more expected notions when the joint topic of Calgary and Carolina broach the hockey topic list.

But on this night a win for the home side was paramount, a requested sign to prove that this chapter of the Flames may be different than the previous seven chapters - that this team might be for real.

The Flames mounted a new potential positive streak and avoided losing two in a row when the set back the Hurricanes by a shut out score of 1-0 on Thursday night.

Green Yelle Iginla
Gelinas McAmmond Donovan
Saprykin Lombardi Clark
Oliwa Morgan Kobasew
Regehr Leopold
Gauthier Warrener
Montador Ference

A game mired by the possible injury to yet another Flames center, Stephane Yelle, the club did what the club needed to do in order to win.

The first two periods featured an onslaught of crease crashing Calgary forwards inexplicably finding a way not to cash in on golden opportunity after golden opportunity.

A goal mouth scramble here, a clanging goal post there had the game knotted at zeros through two period despite Flame period by period shot advantages of 10-4 and 13-6 for an after forty mark of 23-10 for the homeside.

This month's featured hero stepped up to the plate once again in the third period when Shean Donovan scored his 12th goal of the season to put the Flames up a goal.

Robyn Regehr fired a shot from the point that created a wild rebound off of Carolina keeper Kevin Weekes. The puck slid out in front of the net to a Hurricane defenceman that was beat to the puck by a diving Donovan to tip the puck in.

For Donovan the goal put him one shy of his career best of 13 with 55 games left to play on the schedule.

The Flames, dominating at the point of the Donovan goal to the point of a 30-11 shot advantage, then proceeded to sit on their marginal lead, and hang on for dear life for the rest of the game.

The home side iced the puck at least a half dozen times and lost more than their share of faceoffs with the team's top four pivots all in sick by for one ailment or the other.

Enter Miikka Kiprusoff.

The seldom used stopper through 50 minutes was then called upon to save the game, and save the game he did in turning aside 12 Carolina shots in the games final 12 minutes.

The shut out was the fourth in Kiprusoff's career and his first as a Flame.

The Flames move back to five games above .500 and confirmed their 6th place standing by moving three points up on the Nashville Predators.

Next up for Calgary, Colorado on Saturday night.  





1) Miikka Kiprusoff - Confident and solid all night, huge when the 'Canes pushed in the last half of the third.

2) Kevin Weekes - Simply put ... without this man's contributions this game was over after 40. 

3) Shean Donovan - Glass slipper slides back onto his foot, scores game winner.

Miikka Kiprusoff preserved his shut out and the win when he slid across and robbed Eric Cole with a solid pad save in the third period.

Quite a few to choose from including a second period series when Craig Adams was driven hard by both Rhett Warrener and Denis Gauthier, but the hit of the game goes to Robyn Reghr for planting Rod Brind'amour when the veteran tried to go wide on the defender in the third period. Brind'amour took four minutes trying to extract revenge for the big hit.

Martin Gelinas received the "silver stick" for his 1,000 game before the puck was dropped. The show featured a video montage dating back to his days in Edmonton providing some nostalgia for Gelinas and his family. ... The Flames ticket promotion seemed to add some noise with the walk up fans though not too many full seats. ... Oleg Saprykin was second only to Jarome Iginla for shots on goal on the night with four. Of his four shots I would guess none were taken from an angle greater than 11 degrees of the goal line. ... Interesting to note that the games two Calgary stars, Kiprusoff and Donovan were both coming off of NHL player of the week honours. ... The Flames have 32 points in 27 games to put them five games over .500. The club was never more than two games over .500 at any point last season. At this point in 2001-02 they had 35 points but then went on to only win two of their next 13 games. ... The club was led in ice time by Rhett Warrener who turned in 25:34 of duty, upping his contribution in Toni Lydman's absence. Jarome Iginla was second with 23:49 of ice.

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