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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Wild

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

ST. PAUL, MN -- After an intense 65:00 of hockey, the Calgary Flames needed an OT to earn a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Alex Tanguay and Rene Bourque scored in the shootout while Henrik Karlsson made 30 saves in the win, pushing Calgary to 24 points on the season.

The Wild opened the scoring at 12:43 when Pierre-Marc Bouchard was able to knock his own rebound over Karlsson. The Flames netminer made a great initial save and nearly stopped the rebound from going in but wasn't able to get enough of his glove on the puck to keep it out of the net.

Mark Giordano evened up the contest late in the middle stanza with his 3rd of the season. During a late four-on-four sequence, Giordano jumped into the play to snap home Niklas Hagman's rebound. Olli Jokinen also assisted on the tally.

The Flames earned their first lead of the game at 4:39 thanks to Tanguay. Jarome Iginla battled for the puck near the blueline and sent it along the half-wall to a waiting Matt Stajan. The centerman beat Mikko Koivu in a battle for the puck behind the Wild net and passed it quickly to Tanguay. The veteran winger wasted no time in batting it into the back of the net, scoring his eighth of the year.

Martin Havlat tied the game at 12:39 when he was scored his sixth of the season.

At 4:39 of the final frame, the Flames top line went to work at notching the go-ahead goal. Battling away in the offensive zone, Jarome Iginla knocked the puck along the half-wall to Matt Stajan. The centerman won the battle for the puck against Miko Koivu behind the Wild net and passed it to Tanguay, who had hopped up from a defensive position. The veteran winger threw it in the net from close range, giving him his eighth of the season.

Havlat scored the equalizer eight minutes later and Niklas Backstrom was able to make several great saves to keep his club in the game so if Tanguay hadn't netted the early goal, the Flames may not have made it to extra time.

When head coach Brent Sutter gave the nod to Karlsson in net, it may have left a few people scratching their heads due to the Flames precarious situation after the loss on Wednesday. However, the

With less than 6:00 to go in the second period, Karlsson came up with what may be his best save a Calgary Flame. Defenceman Greg Zanon blasted a hard shot towards to the net from the point and Patrick O'Sullivan got his stick on the puck to change the direction. What look liked a sure-fire goal turned into Karlsson's best save of the game. The Swedish netminder got himself into position to make the first save and when the rebound popped out to a waiting O'Sullivan, Karlsson flung himself onto the ice to make sure he could grab the next shot. He was saved from making another clutch save thanks to Jay Bouwmeester, who had swooped in and grabbed the puck from O'Sullivan.

Karlsson, in his fourth start of the campaign, showcased why he's known as the Calgary Tower to Flames fans. The 27 year-old stood tall all night, making several key saves that saved his team from falling behind in regulation. In the shootout, he made a huge pad save on Bouchard that handed the Flames the victory.

Overall, the goaltender faced 32 shots in 65:00 of time. He only allowed a single goal in the shootout.

Jay Bouwmeester had one of his best games as a Flames, putting in an incredible 33:45 of time. He was a +2 on the evening, sent 2 shots on net, had 33 shifts and blocked 1 shot.

"I like it a lot. It's fun. It's good competition, me against the other goalie. It's fun moment." - Karlsson on playing in shootouts. He's now played in two straight shootouts, going 1-1 in those contests.

  Sunday, Dec. 5 vs. Chicago
  5:00 PM MT (SNET Calgary, FAN 960)

The Flames wrap up their short road trip with a stop in the Windy City to face off against the Blackhawks. The last time these two clubs met was on Nov. 19 when the Flames thumped the defending Stanley Cup champions 7-2.

The puck drops at 5:00 PM MT on Sportsnet Flames & The FAN 960.
2 Four-on-four goals for the Flames this season.
8 Assists for Stajan in his last 10 outings.
1 Goal in the last 10 games for Giordano.
2 Straight shootouts for Karlsson.
71 Blocked shots for Giordano this season.

1st Star
Jay Bouwmeester
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 +2 2
2nd Star
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 3
3rd Star
Mark Giordano
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 -1 3

Niklas Backstrom
22 20 2 65:00 .909

Henrik Karlsson
32 30 2 65:00 .937

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