CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Special teams and special goaltending.
The Calgary Flames used both to even their first-round playoff series with
Vancouver on Tuesday night, beating the Canucks 4-0 in Game 4.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 20 saves for his first playoff shutout. Stephane Yelle
sparked the penalty kill unit with a short-handed goal and Chris Clark
connected on a power play.
The Flames, winning a home playoff game for the first time since 1995,
scored two goals 27 seconds apart in the second period. Their power play,
silenced for the first 22 chances, also came alive in Calgary's first win at
home against the Canucks in 11 tries.
The series resumes Thursday with Game 5 at Vancouver.
Coming back from a lower-body injury, Yelle helped clear the puck out of the
Flames' zone and then took a pass from Clark before burying the puck past
Vancouver goalie Johan Hedberg.
``Chris Clark made a great play, I got the puck in the slot and just shot
it,'' said Yelle. ``It feels good to score short-handed and get the team
With two Stanley Cup rings in seven seasons with the Colorado Avalanche
before being traded to Calgary in 2002, Yelle is one of the most experienced
players on a young Flames team.
``We've worked hard at our overall game this year and I think we have a team
that's prepared for the playoffs,'' he said. ``Tonight, our preparation and
focus was good, and we stuck to our game for 60 minutes and it paid off.''
Yelle scored just one minute into the second period against Hedberg, who
faced 31 shots in his first full playoff game for Vancouver after replacing
injured Dan Cloutier in Game 3 on Sunday night.
``We have a lot of young guys in the room,'' Calgary's Shean Donovan said of
Yelle, ``and we look up to him a lot to add that leadership.''
Calgary's penalty killers had been roundly criticized after the first three
games of the series, with Vancouver scoring on six of 15 power plays. But the
addition of Yelle, who replaced injured power forward Chris Simon, appeared to
stabilize the unit, which was fifth in the league for short-handed goals during
Calgary's second goal, on the power play, came on a right-wing blast by
Clark. And 27 seconds later, Donovan put the Flames ahead by three.
But Donovan credited Yelle with turning the game in Calgary's favor.
``Obviously he's one of the best penalty killers in the league,'' Donovan
In an attempt to generate some offense, Vancouver pulled Hedberg with more
than three minutes left in the third period. But Calgary responded with an
empty-net goal by Jarome Iginla.
Game 4 followed the same gritty, hard-hitting play of the first three. And
the pace was set early when Iginla crashed Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund
hard into the boards twice on one shift.
Ohlund has shadowed Iginla effectively through most of the series.
``I thought we got outbattled for some pucks in our zone,'' said Canucks
coach Marc Crawford. ``I was concerned about the slippage in coverage and you
can't have that in the playoffs.''
Canucks forward Brendan Morrison said Calgary won more of the one-on-one
confrontations throughout the game.
``They were better than us in the battles,'' he said. ``They were more
physical and they deserved to win.''