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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Penguins

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

PITTSBURGH, PA -- Despite the heroics of their goaltender, the Calgary Flames couldn't find enough offence to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday when they fell 4-1 in Pennsylvania.

It was the Miikka Kiprusoff show for a good portion of the contest. The Finn faced 42 shots and held his team in during a rough first period that saw the Penguins put 24 shots on him.

The Penguins continued to pour it on the second frame and managed to beat Kiprusoff twice. First, Aaron Asham scored early in the frame with a slap shot after picking up Kris Letang's rebound. Then, Sidney Crosby pushed his point streak to 12 games with his 16th goal of the season at 12:20.

Crosby added his second of the game at 9:12 of the third period with a power play marker and his third came at 19:23 with an empty net goal.

Rene Bourque scored the Flames lone tally at 13:03 when he was able to scoop up Alex Tanguay's pass and neatly deposited it into the net with a wrist shot.

After surviving 24 shots on net in the first period, the Flames came out with a more defensively sound second frame but despite their best efforts, the Penguins were able to find the back of the net 6:26 in.

Letang sent a shot from a sharp angle that the netminder was able to kick away but the rebound landed right on Asham's stick. The winger wasted no time in sending a hard slap shot at the net. Asham beat Kiprusoff high, stick side. After a few solid shifts for the Flames, fhe goal deflated their momentum and they never recovered.

Just 4:14 into the contest, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby came streaking into the Flames zone on a partial breakaway. Rather than let Crosby get a clean shot away, Brendan Morrison hooked up the forward but instead of getting two minutes for the infraction, Crosby was awarded a penalty shot.

Given Crosby came into the game riding a 11-game point streak (9 goals, 13 assists), the odds were on the Penguins picking up a goal with the penalty shot but Kiprusoff had other ideas. The Flames netminder followed Crosby all the way and when the forward tried to backhand it overtop of the goalie, Kiprusoff robbed him with a big glove save to keep the game scoreless.

It's no secret that Kiprusoff has been on top of his game lately but the netminder was nothing short of exceptional against the Penguins on Saturday. He stopped 24 shots in the first stanza alone.

He was particularly sharp during the Penguins opporunities on the power play, robbing them close range on several occassions.

Overall, Kiprusoff faced 42 shots and made 39 saves in 58:39 of ice time.

Mark Giordano has been a pillar of strength on the Flames blueline, particularly when it comes to taking away shots. The defenceman is one of the league leaders in blocked shots with 64 in 23 games. Giordano blocked 6 shots, had 2 shots on net and 4 hits in 23:11 of ice time on Saturday.

"We need to make sure that we go out and play like we can. If we go out and play with the same effort and commitment we've had on this trip, then we will be fine." - Head coach Brent Sutter

  Monday, Nov. 29 vs. Minnesota
  7:00 PM MT (Sportsnet Calgary, FAN 960)

The Flames come back to the Scotiabank Saddledome to kick off a short two-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night. The last time the two clubs squared off was Nov. 5 in Minnesota when the Flames fell by a score of 2-1.

Game time is 7:00 PM MT on Sportsnet Calgary & The FAN 960.
1 In-game penalty shot against the Flames this season.
24 Shots on net by the Penguins in the first period.
7 Points in 6 games for Tanguay.
17 Points for Bourque in 21 games.
5 Hits for Curtis Glencross in 17:31 of ice time.

1st Star
Sidney Crosby
G A P +/- Shots
3 0 3 +2 5
2nd Star
Miikka Kiprusoff
42 39 3 58:39 .928
3rd Star
Chris Kunitz
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 +1 7

Brent Johnson
31 30 1 60:00 .967

Miikka Kiprusoff
42 39 3 58:39 .928

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