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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Wild

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

1-2 (OT)




CALGARY -- Miikka Kiprusoff stood on his head for over 60 minutes but that wasn't enough as the Calgary Flames fell 2-1 in overtime to the suddenly surging Minnesota Wild.

Kiprusoff turned aside 43 shots in regulation and his performance single-handedly earned his club a point.

"Our goalie held us in for most of the night and gave us a chance to win," Dion Phaneuf said afterwards. "We weren't good enough as team, except for one guy and in this league if you leave it up to one guy you're not going to win very many hockey games."

Kiprusoff did admit he saw more shots than he was used to but said his team just didn't get any bounces going their way.

"Yeah, they were shooting lots of pucks there in the first period," he said. "But I think after that it was a pretty even game.

"We had some chances tonight. I think we hit the post a few times, we hit the crossbar so we had our chances to win this game."

The first period was one the Flames will most likely want to forget. It was a sluggish start for the boys in red, with the Wild outshooting the Flames 19-3 after 20:00. The Flames also surrendered two power plays and Kiprusoff had to stand on his head to keep his team in the game.

After 44:50 of scoreless action, Aaron Johnson got Calgary on the board with his first tally as a member of the Flames. After a great individual effort by Curtis Glencross to get the puck in on the forecheck, Johnson skated into the slot and slapped Glencross's rebound past Backstrom.

"I was just trying to get it on net," Johnson said with a small grin. "Obviously I'm very excited for my first goal as a Flame."

The Wild tied things up just five minutes later after a luck bounce off the glass landed right on James Sheppard's stick. With Kiprusoff still out from the previous shot, Sheppard had an open cage to throw the puck into.

The game went to overtime where Martin Havlat scored the game winner at 3:15 on a three-way passing play with Greg Zanon and Marek Zidlicky. It was Havlat's second point of night.

"We weren't good enough all night," Phaneuf said. "It's not the type of effort we want have as a team. They beat us all over the ice in every area and that's not acceptable. We're not happy about it but now we move forward. The schedule is too tight to dwell on games. You learn from them and you move forward.

The Flames head back out on the road to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Game time is 6:00 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.

The Flames left the bulk of the work to Kiprusoff and while the netminder was phenomenal, he couldn't win the game by himself. The defence couldn't handle the Wild's forecheck, allowing 46 shots on net, and the forwards weren't able to generate sustained offense.

F Craig Conroy was a scratch just prior to the game because of an undisclosed injury suffered when he collided with Oscar Moller in Los Angeles on Monday. Adam Pardy was also scratched ... Due to Pardy's absence, both Aaron Johnson and Staffan Kronwall got to suit up. They were paired together for the night.

The Flames didn't get their first shot on net until 12:21 ... Calgary was outshoot 19-3 in the first period ... Jay Bouwmeester is the NHL's leading Ironman with 372 consecutive games under his belt ... Martin Havlat, considered a key pickup in the offseason by the Wild, is an abysmal -15 in 25 games ... Johnson's first goal as a Flame was his second point in two games ... the Flames allowed 44 shots on net in regulation, the highest number this campaign.

Kiprusoff made several huge saves but his best of the night came in the second period when the Flames had just killed off the first penalty on a Wild 5-on-3. With a swarm of white jerseys in front of net, Kiprusoff absolutely robbed Antti Miettinen twice. First, the Minnesota winger sent a hard shot at the Finnish netminder from the slot and then parked himself right in front of the net. A rebound landed right on his stick and he wired it from close range but Kiprusoff made an amazing glove save while falling on his stomach.
The Wild have two former Flames on their roster: Owen Nolan and Chuck Kobasew ... the Flames head back out on the road this weekend, making a two-game trip that will see them make stops in Colorado and St. Louis. Calgary has only lost three games in regulation while on the road this season and all three of those were by a score of 2-1 ... the Flames have now scored first in 24 of 31 games which is 77 per cent of the time.


Miikka Kiprusoff
Another exceptional performance
Martin Havlat
Two points and scored the game winner
Aaron Johnson
Scored his first as a Flame

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