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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Wild

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


ST PAUL, MN -- The Calgary Flames couldn’t tame the Wild.

Zach Parise scored the eventual game-winner with 5:16 remaining and Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves as the Minnesota Wild edged the Flames 3-2 at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

With the loss, the Flames split their two-game road trip. Calgary will return home for a pair of games at Scotiabank Saddledome starting Wednesday.

Moments after Markus Granlund glanced a shot off the glove of Darcy Kuemper and off the iron, Zach Parise redirected Jason Pominville’s shot-pass behind the Flames goaltender with 5:16 remaining in regulation.

Parise’s goal held up as the winner after Mark Giordano’s one-timer off a feed from Granlund below the goal line beat Kuemper to cut Minnesota’s lead to 3-2 with 3:59 remaining. With his assist, Granlund earned his first NHL point.

The goals came after Jared Spurgeon sailed a wrist shot through a crowd and by the blocker of Reto Berra at 5:49 to break a 1-1 tie.

Despite a late push with Berra on the bench for the extra attacker, the Flames couldn’t pull even.

The Flames came close to opening the scoring eight minutes in. After Chris Butler found Jiri Hudler parked to the right of Kuemper, the Flames forward found Lee Stempniak parked at the top of the crease, but the pair couldn’t connect on a tap-in.

Minnesota responded two minutes later with a change-up off the stick of Mikael Granlund that fooled Berra before the Flames goaltender could trap the puck against his chest, one of nine first period saves.

Calgary’s best chance to open the scoring came in the first came in the dying seconds of the period. On a partial break, David Jones’ snap shot was met by the shoulder of Kuemper.

The two teams traded goals in the second.

Matt Cooke took advantage of a miscue from Berra behind the net, chipping the puck to Kyle Brodziak, who pulled out from behind the goal line and converted his fifth of the season into an empty net to put the Wild up 1-0 at 9:02.

That lead lasted until 3:19 when Dennis Wideman’s initial point shot hit Mikko Koivu and landed directly on the stick of Mike Cammalleri, who fired home his 14th of the season and first since Jan. 6th before Kuemper had a chance to react.


Wideman’s wrister from the point careened off Koivu and onto the stick of Cammalleri, who made no mistake in burying his 14th of the season to tie the game 1-1 late in the second period.


Less than five minutes into the middle frame, Ryan Suter walked in from the point and ripped a shot that Berra threw his blocker at to temporarily keep the game scoreless.


Parise’s redirect on Pominville’s slap-pass gave the Wild a two-goal cushion they greatly needed after Giordano's tally to edge the Flames by one.


With an assist on Giordano’s goal, Granlund earned his first career NHL point. The reigning American Hockey League rookie of the month leads all AHL freshmen with 23 goals and ranks third with 44 points in 50 games.


Derek Smith and Matt Stajan (personal) were scratched against the Wild. Kevin Westgarth, Karri Ramo (lower body) and Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) also missed the game due to injury.


The Flames return home to Calgary to host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. MST, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The FAN) and the New York Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. MST, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The FAN).

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