Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Flames-Wild game Tuesday at the Pengrowth Saddledome...
Okay, the slump officially ends. It's now a one-game winning streak, right?
The Flames, in the midst of an eight-game stretch against divisional opponents, couldn't afford to let another game slip away.
It was time to buckle down on defence and buckle down on special teams and end a five-game losing skid.
"We have to be better in our own zone and cut down on the goals against," said defenceman Robyn Regehr, putting the Flames recent slide into perspective.
And those special teams?
"I'm almost tired of talking about it. The (penalty kill) has cost us a lot of games since the start of the season. It has to be better."
Well, Regehr might not have to talk about it Wednesday at the 'Dome. The Flames allowed one goal on five chance on the penalty kill and took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a Dion Phaneuf goal on the power play. The Flames were 1-4 with the man advantage.
The Wild penalty kill, by the way, ranks in the top 10 in the league.
The Turning Point
Kristian Huselius, who had not scored in five games, beat Niklas Backstrom with a shot with 52 seconds left in the game to break a 2-2 tie. Backstrom might want to play that shot again as it trickled through the goaltender's legs.
That has to rank up there as it proved to be the game-winner.
However, the Flames had been silenced with two Mikko Koivu goals that staked the Wild to a 2-1 lead. On the shift after Koivu netted his second, Jarome Iginla banked a shot off a stick and a skate past Backstrom to pull the Flames to even. It was the kind of bounce the Flames needed to break out of a losing streak.
"I was just trying to drive the net. It bounced of a few people," said linemate Alex Tanguay.
The Big Save
In the second period, with the Wild attempting to change the momentum, Dominic Moore was sprung on a breakaway. Miikka Kiprusoff, criticized for his play recently, stands tall in the Flames net, turning away Moore and preserving a 1-0 Flames lead. On another save, it was the post, beating Mark Parrish. He was one Wild player who wasn't taking anything for granted when playing against Kiprusoff.
"If he sees it, he is going to stop it," said Parrish of Kiprusoff.
"It's going to take a second, third and maybe a fourth effort to get it by him."
Fan All-Star voting has begun
Five Calgary Flames have been named to the ballot in XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports and now is your chance to vote them into the all-star line-up.
Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, Miikka Kiprusoff, Robyn Regehr and Dion Phaneuf are on the 104-player ballot.
To vote for your Flames, simply visit www.nhl.com and go to the fan balloting page .
| Flames Line-up |
|Defence Pairings: |
|Kiprusoff (S) Keetley |
|F Wayne Primeau (ankle sprain); F Mark Smith (healthy); D David Hale (healthy) |
Last season Kiprusoff and Phaneuf attended the league's showcase weekend. Iginla would also have been in attendance but he was nursing a sore knee at the time.
The Line Up
The Flames scratched D David Hale and F Mark Smith. They were replaced by F Daymond Langkow and D Rhett Warrener who returned from injuries. Warrener has recovered from a throat infection after missing four games while Langkow missed one game with a concussion. F Wayne Primeau is out with a high ankle sprain.
This and that
The Wild were without two of their top offensive stars as Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra continue to battle groin injuries...The line-juggling was apparent in the third period when Matthew Lombardi was moved to the first line with Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla...When the Wild infringed on Miikka Kiprusoff and his crease in the first period forward Owen Nolan was the first to take exception and barged in to show his displeasure. He was penalized but it was one of those penalties a coach doesn't mind seeing because it was in defence of a teammate...The three stars were Dion Phaneuf, Mikko Koivu and Kristian Huselius..."It feels like we all lost five pounds," said Alex Tanguay of the Flames getting a win. "Tonight it was a couple of lucky bounces. Next game it might be some pretty goals. We will take it any way it comes."
The Flames travel to Edmonton for a game Saturday night. Game time is 8:00 p.m. on CBC and The Fan 960 radio.