CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Miikka Kiprusoff showed the Nashville Predators why he leads the NHL in victories.
Kiprusoff made 28 saves, the best a spectactlar stop on Ryan Jones, for his 30th victory in the Calgary Flames' 3-1 win over the Predators on Friday night.
Andre Roy, Adrian Aucoin and Matthew Lombardi scored for Calgary. At 30-14-4, the Flames have an 11-point lead atop the Northwest Division and are five points behind second-place Detroit in the Western Conference.
J.P. Dumont scored for Nashville. The Predators are 14th spot in the Western Conference, eight point out of the final playoff spot.
"The first 30 minutes we were not very good at all," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Then in the last 30 minutes I thought we were much better. We ran into some penalty trouble, had some great chances with 10 minutes to go.
"One power play they had three great saves by Kiprusoff. If we get it tied up there we probably leave here with a point."
Kiprusoff was at his best in the third period.
With Nashville a goal away from tying it and applying pressure on a power play, Kiprusoff made five saves in short order. The best was on Jones, who appeared to have the open side only to see Kiprusoff scramble across and spectacularly deflect the puck away with the paddle of his stick.
"I just tried to turn around and find the puck and get it in the air because most goalies are going to be along the ground, but he did a good job of taking away the bottom of the net, threw the paddle up in the air and got a stick on it," Jones.
Lombardi was on the ice and had a great view of it.
"That was unbelievable," Lombardi said. "It looked like he was right out of it and then he comes across and makes a big save."
As the penalty ended, chants of "Kipper! Kipper!" broke out.
"Guys around here that have been playing with (Kiprusoff) a few years have come to know him that way and know he can make the big save," Lombardi said.
After nearly tying the game, Jones ended his shift by taking a slashing penalty and he was one of the Predators in the penalty box when the Flames earned some breathing room, making it 3-1 on a two-man advantage.
Michael Cammalleri sent a pass across to Aucoin, whose one-timer on a bouncing puck resulted in a knuckler that fooled Pekka Rinne at 12:30.
Aucoin's fifth goal of the season extended his points streak to six games, while Cammalleri's assist ran his points streak to eight games.
"Definitely the turning point in the game," Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "That puts us tied with them and with the momentum with half a period to go. Unfortunately, he makes the save then we take a penalty and that changed the game."
After a scoreless opening period, Calgary took a 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the second when Lombardi was set up neatly by his two linemates.
Lombardi's fifth goal of the season came on the Flames' 19th shot of the game.
Trailing 2-0, Nashville pulled within one at 8:27 of the third.
Rookie Flames defenseman Adam Pardy fell at the Nashville blue line - resulting in a 3-on-1 - and Dumont finished it off, tucking his own rebound behind Kiprusoff.
Notes: The Flames' franchise record for wins in a season by a goalie is 42, set by Kiprusoff in his Vezina-winning season in 2005-06. ... Nashville has killed 68 of its last 74 penalties over the past 20 games.
|Matthew Lombardi (5) ASST: Curtis Glencross (16), David Moss (9)|
1 - 0 CGY
|Andre Roy (3) ASST: Eric Nystrom (4), Dustin Boyd (6)|
2 - 0 CGY
|J-P Dumont (10) ASST: Radek Bonk (11)|
2 - 1 CGY
|PPG - Adrian Aucoin (7) ASST: Mike Cammalleri (23), Daymond Langkow (22)|
3 - 1 CGY
|Greg Zanon Slashing against Craig Conroy|
|Wade Belak Holding against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Dustin Boyd Too many men/ice - bench|
|Jordin Tootoo Fighting (maj) against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Todd Bertuzzi Fighting (maj) against Jordin Tootoo|
|Joel Ward Interference on goalkeeper against Miikka Kiprusoff|
|Shea Weber Hooking against David Moss|
|Cory Sarich Hooking against David Legwand|
|Ryan Jones Slashing against Dion Phaneuf|
|Ryan Suter Interference against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Todd Bertuzzi Unsportsmanlike conduct against Vernon Fiddler|
|Vernon Fiddler Unsportsmanlike conduct against Todd Bertuzzi|
|J-P Dumont Too many men/ice - bench|
|Dion Phaneuf Hooking against Joel Ward|
|Rene Bourque Slashing against Ville Koistinen|