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Stanley Cup Final

Flames goalie Kiprusoff returns with 32 saves as Calgary downs Sharks 4-1

Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 12:35 AM / News

The Canadian Press

CALGARY - Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves in his return from a knee injury to lead the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.

Blake Comeau scored a tiebreaking goal early in the third period while Jarome Iginla, Roman Cervenka and Curtis Glencross, into an empty net, also scored for surging Calgary (9-8-4), which improved to 4-1-1 in its last six games.

Joe Thornton scored the lone goal for the Sharks (11-7-4), who are 2-6-1 in their last nine.

Kiprusoff returned to the line-up after missing 13 games with a sprained knee. The 36-year-old was injured in the second period of Calgary’s 4-1 victory over the Red Wings on Feb. 5. Calgary went 6-5-2 during his absence.

Kiprusoff was busiest in the third as the Sharks had the period’s only two power plays and outshot Calgary 17-6, but couldn’t solve the Finn, whose NHL career began as a Shark 12 years ago Tuesday when he was first recalled from the minors.

Calgary took a 2-1 lead at 2:57 of the third when Comeau burst down the right wing and snapped a shot inside the far goal post, beyond San Jose goaltender Thomas Greiss.

It was Comeau’s first goal this season and just his second in the last 41 games, dating back to last season.

Less than two minutes later, Iginla kept up his red-hot scoring with his sixth goal in the last five games, ripping a shot past Greiss from the slot after being set up by Jiri Hudler.

The Flames got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead at 4:27, before the Sharks had put its first shot on Kiprusoff. Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester had his shot stopped by Greiss, but the rebound kicked out to Cervenka, who promptly buried it for his first goal in nine games.

Greiss was making his first start for the Sharks in 10 games with Anntti Niemi getting the night off after defeating the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night. He finished with 22 saves on 25 shots.

San Jose’s power play has been an issue of late. After going 0-for-4 against Calgary, they are 3-for-42 in the last 10 games.

Calgary was 0-2 with the extra man.

The Flames now depart on a difficult California road trip. They play once in Anaheim then two straight in Los Angeles against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.

Notes: During the second intermission, a fan stripped down to his boxers and strutted across the ice, making it from one all the way to centre before security escorted him off the ice… Calgary coach Bob Hartley collects win No. 338, tying him with Michel Bergeron for 39th on NHL all-time list… It was the ninth anniversary of the start of Bouwmeester’s iron man streak, which is 609 games, 6th longest all-time.

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild