Ask either side after Saturday night's game and you received the same answer: the Calgary Flames prevailed on the strength of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
Kiprusoff made 32 saves -- including all 24 shots he faced over the final two periods -- and Nigel Dawes assisted on all three goals against his former team as the Flames earned a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
"Any time you play a former team, you're going to get excited for it," Dawes said. "It was one of those games were things went my way."
Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque scored for Calgary (10-4-1), which won its third straight and jumped a point ahead of Vancouver for second place in the Northwest Division.
"Our goaltender was outstanding tonight," Flames coach Brent Sutter said.
Rangers coach John Tortorella was unable to find fault with his team's effort.
"I thought it was one of our best games of the year. The difference is Kiprusoff," he said. "We hold them to six scoring chances, I think we had 16 or 17 … I thought the guys in all facets of the game played well."
Defenseman Dan Girardi had the lone goal for New York (10-7-1), which lost a pair of forwards to injury. Chris Drury played all of 19 seconds before taking a hit from Curtis Glencross that caused him to leave the game and not return. Later on, Brandon Dubinsky was hurt blocking a shot.
That no penalty was assessed to Glencross on the Drury hit was particularly galling to Tortorella.
"They didn't see it," he said of the officials. "Obviously they didn't see it because it should have been called. It should have been a five-minute major."
Steve Valiquette, making his second straight start, finished with 19 saves. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is nursing an undisclosed minor injury, hadn't sat out consecutive games since Feb. 2008.
Valiquette was matching Kiprusoff's effort until Iginla put the Flames in front to stay with his fourth goal in three games. Dawes set up the play by gaining the offensive zone and threading a pass from the corner out to Iginla in the slot. He snapped a shot into the net with 3:13 remaining in the second period for a 2-1 Calgary lead.
"That pass he gave me coming right down into the slot was a tough play to make, not everybody sees it. He put it right on my stick and gave me a lot of net to shoot at," Iginla said.
Bourque made it 3-1 with 3:25 left in the third when he finished off a give-and-go with Dawes.
Langkow started the scoring in the first with his 250th career goal. Adam Pardy unleashed a shot from the blue line that made its way through a maze of bodies in front, and Langkow got a stick on the puck to deflect it past Valiquette at the 3:56 mark.
Girardi answered with 2:44 left in the period when his wrister from the point found the top corner behind a screened Kiprusoff.
"That's a pretty good team right there," Kiprusoff said. "They came hard in the first period and we had some troubles getting the puck out of the zone but after the first, we played much better and we were skating more. It was a good two points."
Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.