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SAN JOSE -- Miikka Kiprusoff
was phenomenal in the Calgary Flames 2-1 victory over the league-leading San Jose Sharks, earning his club their fourth win on their six-game road trip.
After the game, Kiprusoff's teammates couldn't stop raving about their netminder.
"He's played like that all year. He's really enjoying it, he's on his game. He's fun to watch, he's always competing in there. He loves it," captain Jarome Iginla told CBC. "The defense and him are playing so well, playing so well together."
The Flames are now 4-1-0 on this trip and 11-2-3 on the road overall. CBC's Scott Oake asked Iginla about his team's dominance on the road and the captain credited a sense of self-assurance around the locker room.
"I think part of is confidence and part of it is rolling," he said with a smile. "From the start of game, we're showing more composure."
Ryan Clowe opened the scoring at 4:40 of the second period with a heads-up play. Veteran Dan Boyle sent a hard shot at the net from the hash marks and Kiprusoff made the initial save. However, the puck trickled out and Clowe was waiting on the doorstep to whack it in.
It was only the sixth time this season that the Flames have not scored the first goal of the game.
The Flames got themselves back in the game just six minutes later when Olli Jokinen potted his sixth goal of the season. The Finn took a quick pass from Iginla and wired it past Evegeni Nabokov glove side.
San Jose nearly took the lead again in the second period when they were on the power play. The Sharks power play has been slumping as of late - they've only scored a single goal with the man advantage in their last four games - but they came out flying. While pressing, Scott Nichol put a quick shot on net and Kiprusoff made the glove save but the rebound bounced over his skate. It was heading towards the net but Kiprusoff, who was on his stomach, turned his head, saw the puck and kicked it with his heel to make the clutch save.
Daymond Langkow picked up his ninth goal of the campaign, and the game winner, early in the final stanza after some excellent forechecking by Rene Bourque. The Lac La Biche native powered his way through the San Jose defense behind the Sharks net and then snapped the puck out front. Langkow was waiting and one-timed it over Nabokov's shoulder.
The Flames final stop on their six-game road trip is in Los Angeles. They'll take on the Kings on Monday night at 8:30 PM MST on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
|WHY CALGARY WON |
|The Flames were able to lean on Kiprusoff when needed - and he delivered in spectacular fashion - but were also able to generate enough scoring chances against the top team in the NHL. They were able to stop the Sharks power play, the best in the league, and even create some scoring opportunities while down a man. || |
|GAME NOTES |
|There was only one lineup change from Thursday's game against Phoenix: Brian McGrattan replaced Brandon Prust on the fourth line ... The winger rotation on the top line continued as Nigel Dawes played with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen ... The Flames only have one former Shark on their roster: Kiprusoff. || |
|THE NUMBERS GAME |
|The Sharks opening goal marked just the 6th time this season the Flames have not scored first ... Jokinen's goal was his 3rd of this road trip ... The Flames had just 2 shots on net during 4 straight power play minutes in the third period ... Langkow has 2 game-winning goals in his last 8 contests ...Calgary won 41 per cent of draws ... the hits and shots were even at 36-36 and 35-35. || |
|THE BIG SAVE |
|The Sharks were aiming to pick their slumping power play up and they nearly scored with the man advantage late in the second but were stoned by Kiprusoff. Scott Nichol looked like he had a sure goal when the rebound off his shot bounced over a sprawled Kiprusoff's skate but the Finnish netminder knocked the puck away with the heel of his skate. It wasn't a lucky kick - he had his head turned, while laying on his stomach, watching the puck all the way. || |
|OUR 3 STARS |