Calgary has largest home crowd of season


CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- The Flames got the goaltending they've
grown accustomed to with Miikka Kiprusoff. A rare goal from Rhett
Warrener proved to be the difference against the Edmonton Oilers.

Kiprusoff made 30 saves before a sold-out crowd of 18,389 --
Calgary's biggest of the season -- and Warrener had his first goal
in 100 games to lead the Flames to their fourth straight victory, a
2-1 win Tuesday night over the Oilers.

Oleg Saprykin's first-period goal and Warrener's second-period
tally withstood a valiant Edmonton comeback attempt over the final
30 minutes.

"This one feels good because it was a battle out there," said
Jarome Iginla, who combined with rookie Matthew Lombardi to set up
both Flames goals. "They started to take over the momentum in the
third but we got some huge saves from Kiprusoff and we hung in
there. That's part of what good teams do, they find ways to win."

Edmonton outshot Calgary 13-7 in the third period, but couldn't
solve Kiprusoff until Mike York converted Radek Dvorak's rebound
with 3:16 left.

"Too little too late again," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish
said. "We eventually got one and had a lot of opportunities again
but playing catch-up in this league on most nights is a zero-sum

The Oilers applied immense pressure in the final moments but
couldn't get even. York had one of the best chances from in close
but his shot caromed off Warrener's knee.

"The goalie was huge for them," Edmonton forward Georges
Laraque said. "A goalie wins you games and some of the saves he
made tonight, they were unreal. It would have been a different game
if we had been able to score earlier."

Kiprusoff improved to 10-2-1 while lowering his NHL-leading
goals-against average to 1.44 and increasing his NHL-best save
percentage to .943.

"My confidence is way up right now and the whole team has been
playing great," said Kiprusoff, acquired on Nov. 16 from San Jose.
"Two months ago, I had no idea what was going to happen but since
I came here, it's been great."

Calgary is unbeaten in seven at home (5-0-2) and has lost just
once in regulation in 17 games (12-1-2-2). Lombardi and Iginla each
had two assists.

The Oilers have won just twice in 15 games (2-9-4).

"Sure, it's disappointing but every team goes through this
during a year," defenseman Steve Staois said. "We have to find a
way to shorten the slide quickly and find a way to get some

Leading 1-0, Calgary increased its lead at 4:46 of the second
period on a rare goal for Warrener.

Lombardi started the play by cutting across the front of the
net, forcing Tommy Salo to sprawl to the ice to knock the puck
away. The rebound slid into the slot where Warrener rushed in and
drilled a shot into the empty top half of the net.

Warrener last scored on March 1, 2002, while playing for

The Flames opened the scoring 9:06 in when they took advantage
of Edmonton's poor penalty killing, the worst unit in the league.

During a prolonged scramble directly in front of the Edmonton
net during which bodies from both teams were flying, Saprykin
eventually found the loose puck and managed to flip it over top of
the fallen Salo.

Game notes
Edmonton united LW Ryan Smyth with C Adam Oates for the
first time. Brad Isbister played right wing on the line. ... Flames
RW Shean Donovan has scored 11 of his 12 goals at home. Iginla has
scored nine of his 11 on the road.