VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Shean Donovan and Miikka Kiprusoff were
already playing well. Once Jarome Iginla joined them, there was no stopping the
Iginla scored twice, Donovan scored in his fourth straight game, and
Kiprusoff made 28 saves to lead Calgary to a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks
on Thursday night.
Martin Gelinas also scored for the Flames, who have picked up points -- and
no regulation losses -- in eight straight games (5-0-1-2).
"It snowballs," Iginla said. "Confidence goes up."
It certainly has for Kiprusoff since he came to Calgary from San Jose in a
trade just over two weeks ago. The Finnish goalie didn't play a game for the
Sharks this year, but has four wins in five starts with Calgary.
Kiprusoff said his success has a lot do with his relationship with Flames
coach and general manager Darryl Sutter, who used to coach him in San Jose.
"It's a good thing to come here and know Darryl," said Kiprusoff, who has
given up just one goal in all four wins. "I know what he wants and he knows
what I can do. It's been great, we've been winning."
Trevor Linden scored for the Canucks, who lost their second straight home
game after going unbeaten in their first 10 at GM Place.
"I just don't think we were prepared to do what it takes to win," said
Linden, refusing to blame the letdown on Vancouver's four-day break after
coming off a week-long road trip. "We just didn't meet the challenge, there's
Calgary set the tone with lots of speed and gritty play early in the game,
beating Vancouver to loose pucks and carrying most of the play all over the
Iginla opened the scoring on the power play 9:08 in, getting his second goal
in as many games after going scoreless in eight straight. Dan Cloutier robbed
Iginla and Stephane Yelle from close range, but the Calgary captain finally
knocked the second rebound over the line from the side of the net.
"It was a luck bounce on my first goal tonight but you need those
sometimes," said Iginla, who added his seventh goal into an empty net with 11
seconds left. "Confidence is a huge part of the game as a team and personally.
We're going as a team and hopefully it will start going personally too."
Donovan doubled the lead midway through the second, spinning off Artem
Chubarov's soft check in the slot before beating Cloutier to the glove side. It
was the fifth goal in four games for Donovan, who also scored twice against
Vancouver in a 4-all tie Saturday.
Gelinas made it 3-0 just 56 seconds into the third, after Rhett Warrener's
dump-in took a funny hop off the end boards, stranding Cloutier behind the net.
"That's what we have to do, we have to hound the puck and play hard every
night and I thought that's what we did," Donovan said. "And whenever there
was a breakdown Kipper was there to make a big save."
Linden ended Kiprusoff's shutout bid just over two minutes later, when he
caught the goalie down after making the initial stop on a deflection.
Kiprusoff made his best saves after Vancouver pulled Cloutier for an extra
attacker, stuffing Jason King from close range with a minute left, and
sprawling to rob Todd Bertuzzi with his glove in the net and 24 seconds left.
Canucks captain Markus Naslund played despite missing a practice this week
and leaving the morning skate early with a sore groin, but didn't return to
start the third period.
"I wanted to give it a try, I hate to miss a game," Naslund said.