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Kiprusoff leads Flames past Blues

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames shook off one streak to extend another.??

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 36 shots, while Jarome Iginla's goal with seven minutes remaining in the third period broke a tie as the Calgary Flames upended the St. Louis Blues 3-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

"It's beyond desperation time and we need to get back feeling good," Iginla said. "Kipper had an amazing game. He gave us a chance. They were pretty much outplaying us pretty strongly for two periods and we hung in there and I thought the third period we had a good period. A big part of that one is Kip standing on his head. St. Louis is playing well. They're a good team."

The victory extended the Flames' winning streak on home ice to seven games after a dreadful road trip last week ran their losing streak on the road to nine games -- a franchise worst.

"You feel good at home, have great fans here but you have to be able to win road games if you want to make playoffs in this League," Kiprusoff said.

"We all know we have to change it. It's no more time to lose, lose road games."

Flames forward Roman Cervenka had the first multi-goal game of his career, while T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Sobotka answered for the Blues, who shut out the Edmonton Oilers 24 hours prior.

"We’re struggling to find consistency," Andy McDonald said. "For whatever reason, we can’t put games together – a lot of positives, but just not enough.

"If we want to get into the playoffs and do well, we have to find a way to play a consistent game. It’s got to improve. Everyone’s got high expectations. It’s frustrating."

That frustration was courtesy of Iginla's ninth of the season.

Sprung on a partial breakaway by Alex Tanguay that was broken up by Wade Redden, Iginla stuck with the puck beside the net and forced it through Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak at 12:58 for the eventual winner.

"It was a good break. It was a great pass by Tangs right on my tape," Iginla said. "I was just taking off up the middle. I thought I'd get a chance to get in, but he did poke it. A good break that it was still there and just jammed it and it was sure nice to see it go behind the line."

Iginla's goal was needed after Sobotka tied the game early in the third.??? Hauling the puck into the Flames’ zone, McDonald peeled towards the boards before coming out to the top of the circle and fired a shot that Kiprusoff knocked down. With the puck laying between the pads of the Flames netminder, Sobotka poked it over the goal line 4:48 into the third period to tie the game 2-2.

"I just battled in front and tapped it in the net," he said.

The Flames managed just 17 shots on Halak and didn't record their first until midway through the first period.??????

They made good on their second.??????

With Roman Polak in the penalty box for roughing, Dennis Wideman's outlet pass sprung Cervenka on a 2-on-1. Opting to keep, Cervenka fired the puck over Halak's glove for his fourth of the season to give Calgary a 1-0 lead at 11:13. ??????

Tanguay had a glorious opportunity to put the Flames up by two less than a minute later.??????

Cutting through the slot towards the net, Tanguay took a centering feed from Iginla in the corner and redirected it on Halak, who closed his legs in time to deny the Flames’ forward. Not to be outdone, Kiprusoff robbed a streaking David Backes with his glove with 7:24 remaining in the opening period, one of seven saves for the Calgary keeper in the first 20 minutes.??????

Despite outshooting the Flames 19-4 in the second period, the Blues couldn't draw any closer. ??????????????????

In fact, Cervenka gave Calgary a two-goal lead -- at least temporarily.??????????????????

He added his second of the night, beating Halak in tight with a deke after Jiri Hudler forced a turnover from Oshie and sprung his fellow Czech in alone for the 2-0 lead at 9:40.??????????????????

The Blues pushed to cut the lead, but were continually turned away by Kiprusoff, who stopped David Perron on the doorstep with nine minutes remaining in the period before stretching out his pad to stop a redirected point shot from Alex Pietrangelo a dozen seconds later.??????????????????

St. Louis found a way to break through Kiprusoff with 3:20 remaining in the middle period.??????????????????

Oshie atoned for his earlier miscue, stripping Wideman of the puck at the Flames’ blue line, sneaking in on a partial break and firing a shot through Kiprusoff to cut the lead to 2-1. It was just one of two blemishes on the night for Kiprusoff.

"They're a pretty good team and were shooting a lot, lots of traffic," he said. "I felt all right. I was able to find the puck there and our [defensemen] took care of the rest."

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