Kiprusoff became the first goalie in 25 years to stop two penalty shots in one night as he helped the Calgary Flames jump to fifth in the West by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Friday night.
"He gives us a chance to win every night," said center Olli Jokinen, who had a goal and an assist. "You can see how focused he is every day. He's the biggest reason we've been winning games."
Kiprusoff's 19th consecutive start was one for the record books. He denied penalty shots by Matt Calvert in the second period and Antoine Vermette in the third. It's the first time a goalie has stopped two penalty shots in the same game since Detroit's Corrado Micalef stopped Pierre Larouche and Mike Ridley of the New York Rangers on Feb. 16, 1986. The Rangers won that game 3-1.
"There's nothing you can do," said Kiprusoff in regards to the rare occurrence. "You just have to make sure you stop it."
The Jackets have been denied on three penalty shots in the last two nights and four in a week.
"That's definitely not history you want to be a part of," Calvert said. "He got me on that one. I was trying to go shelf and trying to get him to move, but he read it pretty good and stayed in one spot and I didn't have much to shoot at."
Curtis Glencross had a goal and two assists and Rene Bourque had a goal and an assist for Calgary, while captain Jarome Iginla scored his 29th goal of the season -- leaving him one short of becoming the 10th player in NHL history to reach the 30-goal mark in 10 or more seasons.
But the talk of the Flames locker room was Kiprusoff.
"He made two great saves on two penalty shots," Glencross said. "Kipper stuck in there for us and played another great game."
Vermette had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (31-26-7), who have lost four straight games and are 12th in the West, six points behind eighth-place Dallas. Craig Rivet and Jan Hejda also scored, while Jakub Voracek had two assists.
The Jackets trailed 4-2 after two periods but outshot the Flames 16-4 in the final 20 minutes.
"If you're going to try and make it to the next level and get to the playoffs, you have to find a way to beat these guys and we had more than our share of opportunities to equal that game tonight," coach Scott Arniel said. "We peppered them pretty good in the third."
Vermette swatted a rebound past Kiprusoff to tie the game 2-2 at 1:53 of the second before taking a double minor for high sticking Flames forward David Moss that proved costly.
"Obviously, it's an accident," Vermette said. "This time of year, it makes a difference -- penalty killing and power play -- and they capitalized on that."
After Bourque backhanded a rebound past Mason to put Calgary up 3-2, Glencross tipped in a point shot by Anton Babchuk to give the Flames two power-play goals in 81 seconds.
"That's the ultimate goal when you get a four-minute power play, try to get one in the first half so you can have another second chance," Glencross said. "We were lucky enough to get two out of it."
Calvert was awarded his penalty when he was hauled down from behind by Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano, but Kiprusoff made a blocker save to keep the Flames up by a pair heading to the third.
Columbus made it 4-3 at 6:43 when Hejda blasted a point shot through traffic into the top corner behind Kiprusoff. Vermette had a chance to tie the game when he was awarded his penalty shot after Babchuk was ruled to have thrown his stick trying to break up the play, much to the dismay of the Calgary players, coaching staff and hometown fans.
"I don't think they were too happy about that call, but after it's made there's nothing you can do about it," said Kiprusoff, who made a save with his left arm to thwart Vermette's opportunity. "The only thing is try to stop it and I'm happy I was able to do it tonight."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Craig Rivet (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Derek MacKenzie (11)|
1 - 0 CBJ
|Olli Jokinen (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Curtis Glencross (14), David Moss (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jarome Iginla (29) Snap shot - ASST: Rene Bourque (19), Cory Sarich (11)|
2 - 1 CGY
|Antoine Vermette (16) Backhand shot - ASST: Kris Russell (15), Jakub Voracek (29)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Rene Bourque (22) Backhand shot - ASST: Olli Jokinen (32), Curtis Glencross (15)|
3 - 2 CGY
|PPG - Curtis Glencross (21) Deflected shot - ASST: Anton Babchuk (22), Alex Tanguay (36)|
4 - 2 CGY
|Jan Hejda (4) Slapshot - ASST: Jakub Voracek (30), Antoine Vermette (21)|
4 - 3 CGY
|Marc Methot Interference against Olli Jokinen|
|Kris Russell Cross checking against Jarome Iginla|
|Antoine Vermette Hi stick - double minor against David Moss|
|Jared Boll Too many men/ice - bench|
|Tom Kostopoulos Hi-sticking against Marc Methot|
|Matt Stajan Holding against Samuel Pahlsson|
|Rick Nash Interference on goalkeeper against Miikka Kiprusoff|
|Kris Russell Hooking against Tom Kostopoulos|
|Tom Kostopoulos Delaying Game-Puck over glass|