CALGARY (AP) -Miikka Kiprusoff finally got his first shutout of the season. And against the NHL's top team, too.
"It feels good," the Finn said. "We played a pretty strong game, our forwards did great with the backchecking, it was a good team game."
Kiprusoff was at his best in the third period as Detroit outshot the Flames 13-2. Twice the Red Wings - who were without star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski - hit a goalpost in the final 20 minutes.
"We definitely did steal one," said Alex Tanguay, who authored the game's only goal. "Kipper bailed us out many times. Even though they don't have (Nicklas) Lidstrom and (Brian) Rafalski, they are still a very dangerous team. It seems like the latter part of the second period and in the third, we kind of lacked energy."
Kiprusoff got his 25th career shutout 64 starts after his last - a 1-0 win over Minnesota on March 27, 2007. He was starting after a rare night off Wednesday. Curtis Joseph started in the Flames' 3-2 victory over Dallas. It was just the third time Kiprusoff has been rested all season.
"It was a big game for our team. We've been playing pretty well the last few games and we have to keep going that way," said Kiprusoff.
Tanguay scored midway into the first period as the Flames won their third straight and moved within one point of the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Wild, setting up game for first place Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center. Calgary also pulled into a tie with San Jose and Nashville for fifth in the Western Conference.
Detroit dropped to 1-6-1 in its last eight games.
"We had a couple posts tonight, a couple chances where we just missed him," said Detroit forward Kirk Maltby. "It seems like in this little stretch here, we've had lots of chances but we're not just finishing."
Tanguay's fluke goal at 11:54 of the first period came from behind the Detroit net.
After snapping a 16-game scoring drought with a pair of goals Wednesday, Tanguay got his 14th of the season when his centering attempt hit Detroit defenseman Brett Lebda in the arm and ricocheted past an unsuspecting Chris Osgood.
Other than that, Osgood was also excellent in goal making 25 saves.
Notes: Flames players wore No. 18 on their helmets in memory of 2007 fifth-round draft pick Mickey Renaud. The captain of the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires died suddenly Monday. ... Calgary D Jim Vandermeer made his Flames debut after being acquired Wednesday from the Philadelphia Flyers. ... Taking Lidstrom's place and making his NHL debut was D Jonathan Ericsson. The 23-year-old Swede was recalled Wednesday from Grand Rapids (AHL).
|Alex Tanguay (14) ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 CGY
|Valtteri Filppula Hooking against Alex Tanguay|
|Owen Nolan Holding against Jonathan Ericsson|
|Tomas Kopecky Hi-sticking against Dion Phaneuf|
|Owen Nolan Slashing against Mikael Samuelsson|
|Tomas Holmstrom Hi-sticking against Dion Phaneuf|
|Brett Lebda Hooking against Craig Conroy|
|Jarome Iginla Cross checking against Mikael Samuelsson|
|Kris Draper Holding against Matthew Lombardi|
|Craig Conroy Holding against Kyle Quincey|
|Wayne Primeau Hooking against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Owen Nolan Slashing against Tomas Holmstrom|