CALGARY (AP) -Byron Ritchie continued his remarkable impression of Jarome Iginla.
After scoring just three times in the season's first 33 games, Ritchie has caught fire of late thriving on the increased ice time he's received with Iginla - the Flames captain and leading scorer - sidelined with a sprained knee.
"It's a lot more fun when you're contributing offensively and the team's winning," said Ritchie, who had a season-high 19 minutes of ice time, 2 minutes more than Saturday night, which had been his season-high.
Ahead 2-0 in the third period, Ritchie put the game out of reach at 6:54 on his first short-handed goal of the season. The opportunity was created by Matthew Lombardi, who streaked into the Minnesota zone and then spun sliding a pass right onto the stick of Ritchie, who fired a low shot past goalie Niklas Backstrom.
"I had a tough time trying to catch him in the first place, then he makes the backhand spin-around pass, I don't know how he knew I was there," Ritchie said.
Daymond Langkow and Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary (22-15-4), which finishes with five wins out of six on its longest homestand of the season. The Flames improve to 17-5-0 at home, tying them with Minnesota for the most home wins.
Calgary also moves within one point of Vancouver for the lead in the Northwest Division. Calgary has two games in hand on the Canucks.
"Our division is so tight, you drop a couple in a row, you're in the cellar. You win a few in a row, you're in first place," Ritchie said.
The road woes continued for Minnesota (21-19-3). The Wild are 0-10-1 in their last 11 games away from the Xcel Energy Center.
"The saga continues," Wild right-winger Brian Rolston said. "We have to figure out how we can win on the road and it's something we have to figure out quick."
The NHL's worst road team at 4-15-1, the Wild get three more chances to find the solution to their struggles with stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Chicago before returning home.
"For our team, when we get behind, it's the same old story," Wild defenseman Keith Carney said. "It feels like nothing's going right for us, every mistake is going to end up in our net, we start getting that feeling and that's something we have to change. We have to continue to play hard and create more offense."
Kiprusoff was solid all night, capping his perfect evening with a spectacular glove stop on Rolston with 3 minutes left to preserve his fifth shutout of the season and 22nd of his career.
"It's not fun when Jarome is out, but we hope he's back as soon as possible. Now, while he's not in the lineup, we all have to play well," Kiprusoff said.
After a scoreless first period, Calgary opened the scoring 1:24 into the second period when Langkow got his stick on Robyn Regehr's shot from the blue-line, deflecting it past Backstrom.
Calgary extended its lead to 2-0 at 17:59 of the second when Kristian Huselius set up Giordano for a power-play goal.
Both teams lost players to injury during the game. Calgary defenseman Rhett Warrener took a shot in the midsection in the third period and did not return.
Derek Boogaard (head) and Mark Parrish (lower body) did not play in the third period for the Wild. Both are listed as day-to-day. Boogaard was hurt in a rousing scrap with Flames call-up Eric Godard, which came just 2 seconds after Calgary took a 1-0 lead.
Notes: RW Eric Godard made his Calgary debut after being recalled Monday from Omaha of the AHL. Godard had appeared in 107 games with the New York Islanders over the previous three seasons. ... Calgary LW Marcus Nilson (leg) is back skating and is expected back within the week. Nilson has missed 16 games. ... Minnesota's two wins in its last 16 road games have come in shootouts. Its last regulation road win was Oct. 21 at San Jose.
|Daymond Langkow (16) ASST: Robyn Regehr (12)|
1 - 0 CGY
|PPG - Mark Giordano (4) ASST: Kristian Huselius (16), Dion Phaneuf (16)|
2 - 0 CGY
|SHG - Byron Ritchie (7) ASST: Matthew Lombardi (15)|
3 - 0 CGY
|Mikko Koivu Tripping against Matthew Lombardi|
|Wyatt Smith Too many men/ice - bench|
|Rhett Warrener Tripping against Wyatt Smith|
|Eric Godard Fighting (maj) against Derek Boogaard|
|Derek Boogaard Fighting (maj) against Eric Godard|
|Mark Giordano Tripping against Mikko Koivu|
|Brent Burns Tripping against Matthew Lombardi|
|Wes Walz Hooking against Alex Tanguay|
|Roman Hamrlik Hooking against Mikko Koivu|
|Jeff Friesen Slashing against Mikko Koivu|
|David Moss Slashing against Kim Johnsson|