Iginla scored twice and Kiprusoff stopped 23 shots for his
second shutout of the season, leading the Flames to a 3-0 victory
over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
With Calgary ahead 1-0 after two periods, Iginla increased the
lead at 4:48 of the third when he tipped rookie defenseman Dion
Phaneuf's wrist shot from the blue line out of the air and into the
net. He sealed the victory with his seventh goal of the season, an
empty-netter with 23 seconds remaining.
After a slow start, Iginla has goals in four consecutive games
and points in seven straight (five goals, three assists).
"Winning at home and scoring, it always feels good," he said,
"especially with the importance of this game."
Phaneuf also scored for Calgary (5-7-2), which opened a
four-game homestand and a stretch of 10 home games in its next 12.
The Flames lost four of their previous five.
"We knew it was a big game. Minnesota's one of the
hardest-working teams in the league and we had to come out with a
big start to the homestand," Phaneuf said.
Minnesota (6-5-2) began a four-game road trip with its fourth
loss in five games (1-3-1).
"It was a frustrating one for us," goalie Manny Fernandez
said. "They got a goal in the first and we had a couple good shots
after that but we needed a goal to refuel our tanks and it just
Tested only a dozen times over the opening 40 minutes of his
ninth career shutout, Kiprusoff was much busier in the third
period. He made 11 saves as three straight Calgary minors helped
the Wild generate several scoring chances.
"We were able to come back in the third and get some pressure
on the power play, but overall we didn't create as much as we would
have liked against Kiprusoff," Todd White said. "We need to do a
better job of getting more traffic in front of him and making it
more difficult for him."
Phaneuf opened the scoring with 40 seconds left in the first
period on a power-play. Roman Hamrlik's pass back to the blue line
was gathered in by Phaneuf who quickly directed a harmless looking
low shot toward the net that ended up eluding Fernandez.
That gave Calgary a lead after the first period for just the
third time in 14 games, and a visibly frustrated Fernandez broke
his stick across the goal post.
"I knew it was going to be a tight 0-0 or 1-0 game and I didn't
want to make that one mistake and I felt I should have had that one
and I didn't," he said.
The goal also marked the seventh straight game with a power-play
score for the Flames, who are 9-for-47 with the man advantage
during that stretch -- a significant improvement over their feeble
3-for-45 mark through the first seven games.
"Dion and Hammer and all our defensemen have really started
quarterbacking the power play and they're controlling the puck and
we're getting good results because of their confidence," Iginla
The sellout crowd of 19,289 was at its loudest with 6 minutes
left after a rousing fight between the normally non-combative Tony
Amonte and rugged Minnesota defenseman Nick Schultz.
"You're thinking about nothing other than swing harder, swing
faster, and hopefully you don't get hit," Amonte said.
While Calgary got RW Darren McCarty back after missing four
games with a sore neck, LW Chris Simon missed his second game due
to a rib injury. ... Minnesota D Filip Kuba has taken over from D
Alex Henry as captain for November in the Wild's ongoing rotating
captaincy. ... Calgary's Jordan Leopold, who led Flames defensemen
in scoring with 33 points in 2003-04, has been held without a point
through the first 14 games. ... Calgary has yet to score more than
three goals in a game.