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Kiprusoff chases 300th win, first in Anaheim

Monday, 02.06.2012 / 4:04 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Kiprusoff chases 300th win, first in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A sort of daily double is on the line when the Calgary Flames take on the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Miikka Kiprusoff is going for his 300th career victory, and it would snap a 13-game losing streak by Calgary in Anaheim's building.

Calgary coach Brent Sutter, who coached Martin Brodeur in New Jersey, likened Kiprusoff to Brodeur in his ability to not let personal milestones distract from the task at hand.

"There's an element about those guys that's really hard to put into words," Sutter said. "I played with Billy Smith. Eddie Belfour was the same way. Kelly Hrudey was the same way. These guys … they had a very calming influence inside the room but they were also very, very confident in their abilities and everyone knew it inside in the room, which is huge for a goalie, and it's huge for the psyche that it brings inside the room."

Kiprusoff would be the 27th goalie to reach 300 wins. Remarkably, he has never won a regular season game in Anaheim as a Flame.

Kiprusoff was injured when Calgary last won in Anaheim on Jan. 19, 2004.

"That is surprising," Jarome Iginla said. "I think he's going to play a number of more years. Hopefully we've got to change that now."

Iginla optimistic:
Iginla said he plans on staying in Calgary with the Flames on the outside of the playoff picture with the Feb. 27 trade deadline looming.

"I think we're going to be a playoff team," he said. "I believe that. In the Western Conference, it's tight. I don'’t think there's any heavy, favorite front runner. I think we've got a shot. We've played Detroit. We've played Vancouver. We played San Jose and we played them (tightly). While we respect them, we definitely believe we can beat them.

"I believe we can make it here this year. We're four points out, but that can change quickly. That's where the focus is. As far as trade deadline rumors, I haven't kept up on them."

Long drought:
Not only has Calgary not won in 13 straight in Anaheim, it is 1-13-9 past 23 here and the last six games were decided by one goal.

"We don’t bring it up," Iginla said. "The team's turned over so much that most people haven't been through it, so why bring it up and act like they haven't won here? They probably have with other teams. There's only a handful of us that have been through that really tough stretch here.

"We hope that we're due. We'll go with that mindset."

Iginla also missed that 2004 game with an injury. Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman is the only player from that game that will dress tonight -- Lydman played for Calgary.

"That's a while ago," Lydman said. "Now you made me feel old."

Hagman demoted:
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau broke up the Finnish line of Niklas Hagman, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne and demoted Hagman to the fourth line.

Matt Beleskey takes the spot of Hagman, who thrived earlier this season but has one goal in his past 17 games.

"He's been up and down," Boudreau said. "There's time when you can see why he was a 28-goal scorer (actually 27) and there's times when he just works and he gets opportunity after opportunity and it seems like he's shooting everything five feet wide. It's never for a lack of work. Sometimes his hands are moving way too quick for his body. But his work ethic is always there."

Sbisa's accident:
Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa is sporting a nasty red blemish on the right side of his face from what he told The Orange County Register was a bicycle accident, which has given teammates ammunition for some gentle ribbing.

"We have a bicycle helmet back there somewhere," Lydman said with a smile. "I don't know whose it is."
Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
World Cup of Hockey 2016