GAME AT A GLANCE: It was the Calgary Flames first home game in almost two weeks and they knew they needed to continue their winning streak if they were to stay in the race for a playoff spot in a tight Northwest Division. On top of it all, they were facing the top team in the Western Conference, the Detroit Red Wings, and although their conference rivals were without their captain and star defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, it wasn't going to be an easy feat.
But again the Flames worked their magic, played a rigid physical game and stood their ground against the Red Wings, shutting them out 1-0. It was Miikka Kiprusoff's first shutout of the 2007-08 season and his first in 64 games. It was also the Calgary club's first win again Detroit this season, with the Wings taking the first three games.
"Miikka (Kiprusoff) was great in net, I’m glad to see he finally got a shutout," said Flames' Head Coach Mike Keenan, following the win.
Alex Tanguay opened the scoring 11:54 in the first on what appeared to be a centering pass. Just as he dished the puck out of the corner, it bounced off of a Red Wings' blueliner and past netminder Chris Osgood. However it went in, it was a goal none the less and Tanguay's third in two games. The goal went unassisted.
Calgary defenceman David Hale had a chance to tally his first career NHL goal on a breakaway 9:58 into the opening frame, but Osgood found a way to hang onto it as the one-timer bounced off his chest and up into the air.
The Flames continued their hard-nosed play into the second period and, in fact, dominated the physical aspect of the game, out hitting their opponents 16-5 by the time all was said and done.
Miikka Kiprusoff was stellar between the posts, coming up big a number of times for the Calgary squad. Kiprusoff faced 38 Detroit shots on net. But at the same time, Chris Osgood was very good himself, keeping the Flames to one goal on 26 attempts. Tomas Holmstrom got under the skin of Kiprusoff a couple times, especially when the forward shoved the Flames netminder in the final seconds of the middle period.
With less than 10 minutes left in the third and a Flames and Detroit player in their respective boxes, Owen Nolan made a great block on Brett Lebda's shot, as the veteran forward got down on a knee to stop the potentially dangerous puck.
It came down to the wire and with only 25 seconds left in the third, Nolan was sent to the box for slashing, giving Detroit the man-advantage. The Flames held on though and never gave the Red Wings an opportunity to tie the game.