GAME AT A GLANCE
MINNESOTA — Two third period goals by Wild captain Marian Gaborik gave Minnesota their first Northwest Division title and coach Jacques Lemaire his 500th career win as a head coach.
|Owen Nolan goes to the net |
The Flames could have clinched a playoff spot tonight by gaining one point but were unable to get the game to overtime.
Daymond Langkow scored the Flames lone goal, giving him 30 on the year.
Special teams was the story of the first period. Both teams were able to capitalize with the man advantage and all of the decent scoring opportunities for both clubs came while on the power play.
The first goal came early. With Eric Belanger in the box for holding, Daymond Langkow put home his 30th of the season. The power play marker came at 2:41 with assists going to Jarome Iginla and Adrian Aucoin.
Minnesota got themselves on the board when Todd Fedoruk got to the front of the net and got the puck over Miikka Kiprusoff at 5:54. His power play goal was his 6th of the season.
Right after the Wild's power play, Branko Radivojevic had an excellent opportunity but Kiprusoff came up huge.
Radivojevic tried to tuck it under Kiprusoff's leg and managed to get it beneath the Finnish netminder's left left but it trickled wide, going to Kiprusoff's right leg. Before any of the waiting Wild players could whack at the puck, Kiprusoff squeezed his legs shut.
Right at the end of the first period, Dion Phaneuf threw a huge hit on Stephane Veilleux. The open-ice check sent the Wild forward to the ice and drew an interference penalty. Right after the hit, Brent Burns went after Phaneuf and they dropped the gloves. Phaneuf had the edge in the tilt, landing several hard lefts before they both hit the ice.
The second frame was more reserved but Kiprusoff put on a show as the Flames had to kill off five penalties. His best of the night came when Kim Johnsson made a nice pass across the ice to Marian Gaborik. The Wild captain was parked on the right side of net and it looked like he had a goal but Kiprusoff stretched his right leg all the way across the goal line to deny Gaborik of a goal.
Calgary's problems started in the third period when Gaborik scored two big goals for Minnesota. His first was just 1:11 into the third and then a power play goal at 13:11.
"They took advantage of their advantage tonight tonight and that was the power plays," said head coach Mike Keenan.
The Flames tried to come back from the two goal deficit but the Wild played the trap and were able to shut down the Flames offensive opportunities.