Calgary at Minnesota

North by Northwest: Flames again beat Wild for division lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- What a difference a week can make.

Fresh off an overtime win last Sunday, Minnesota led Calgary by six points in the Northwest Division. Seven days later, the Wild are looking up at the Flames.

Daymond Langkow and Craig Conroy scored, Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 38 shots and the Flames beat Minnesota 2-1 Sunday to replace the Wild atop the Northwest Division.

Calgary has won four straight -- including three in a row over division leaders -- and six of eight. The Flames have beaten Minnesota four straight times.

"It's crazy. Every game is huge, and I think that's how it's going to be the rest of the year," Kiprusoff said. "We can't worry too much about other teams. We just have to keep winning."

Mark Parrish scored for Minnesota, which is winless in three straight. The Wild hadn't lost more than two in a row since going 0-4-1 from Oct. 24-Nov. 1. The Wild are 4-6 since Feb. 2, with their wins coming in overtime or a shootout.

"We're not that bad, but we're slipping. That means that other teams are doing better than we are," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.

The Flames, for example.

Captain Jarome Iginla said recent road wins in Dallas and Minnesota sandwiched around a home win against Detroit may not have been pretty, but each time the end result has been two points.

"Tonight we got outshot, but found a way to win it," he said. "We know we have to play better and move the puck the way the Wild did today, especially coming out of their own zone to create chances for themselves."

Calgary has been outshot 108-60 in its past three games -- all wins.

"We played a very conservative game to take away as much neutral zone as we could," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "You have to win in different ways, and I'm happy with the way we won today."

Kiprusoff, who also made 38 saves in blanking the Red Wings 1-0 Friday, made his biggest saves during a Minnesota power-play flurry late in the second period.

He stopped Brian Rolston from the left circle and slid across to stop the rebound attempt by Mikko Koivu. He also made a pad save to stop Branko Radivojevic early in the third period. Kiprusoff is 18-5-1-2 lifetime against Minnesota, the most wins by any goaltender against the Wild. He has a career 1.70 goals-against average and .936 save percentage against the Wild.

"Kipper's played pretty well all year, but he's been pretty much unbeatable this week," said Iginla, who had an assist.

Langkow was alone in front to tip a pass from Iginla past Niklas Backstrom midway through the opening period for a 1-0 lead. It was the Flames' seventh power-play goal in eight games.

Minnesota thought it tied the game midway through the second.

After Kiprusoff made a pad save on a shot by Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Aaron Voros was dragged down by Flames defenseman Jim Vandermeer in a battle for the rebound. Sliding toward the net, Vandermeer appeared to kick the puck across the goal line as Voros slid into Kiprusoff.

Referee Brad Meier immediately waived off the goal. He refused to comment to a pool reporter after the game.

"He said the goalie couldn't react to the puck. He couldn't move to go and get that puck because he was hit," Lemaire said.

Less than three minutes later, Conroy completed a 2-on-1 with Owen Nolan by beating Backstrom with a snap shot from the slot for a 2-0 lead. The assist gave Nolan his 800th career point.

"We're at least back where we wanted to be," Conroy said. "Now we just got to keep winning, and hope some of these guys can lose for us, but it doesn't seem that way that many nights."

Parrish scored 38 seconds into the final period, knocking home a rebound of a tip that was stopped by Kiprusoff.

"Unfortunately at this time of year, it's not enough just to go out and work hard. You need to pick your level up and play with a playoff type of mentality and that type of style," Parrish said.

Notes

  • Calgary is 18-0-3 when leading after two periods.
  • Wild D Keith Carney played his 1,000 career game.
  • Minnesota has lost four of its past six home games.
  • Langkow has 28 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.
  • Minnesota dropped just its second game when allowing less than three goals.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Miikka Kiprusoff stops 38 shots as the Flames take first place from the Wild. (Getty Images)
Miikka Kiprusoff stops 38 shots as the Flames take first place from the Wild. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Calgary  (33-22-8) «1102
Minnesota (34-23-5)0011
Three Stars
M. Kiprusoff
CGY


Saves: 38
Save Pct.: .974
M. Parrish
MIN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Burns
MIN


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
12:35Power Play - Daymond Langkow (25), Slap Shot. Assist: Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius
2ND PERIOD
13:52Craig Conroy (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Owen Nolan, Marcus Nilson
3RD PERIOD
38.0Power Play - Mark Parrish (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mikko Koivu
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
57.0Langkow, 2 min, Hooking
11:43Koivu, 2 min, Holding
13:58Voros, 2 min, High-Sticking
17:25Primeau, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
02:40Vandermeer, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
02:40Veilleux, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
07:10Conroy, 2 min, High-Sticking
11:29Demitra, 2 min, Holding
16:24Hale, 2 min, Hooking
18:12Yelle, 2 min, Hooking
19:33Phaneuf, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
09:12Bouchard, 2 min, Tripping
15:48Belanger, 2 min, Interference
15:48Aucoin, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
Shots On Goal
 123T
Calgary58316
Minnesota8171439
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Miikka Kiprusoff59:59381
Niklas Backstrom58:31142
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Calgary1-for-2
Minnesota1-for-1
Game Information
Attendance - 18568
Referees - Brad Meier, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Brad Lazarowich, Thor Nelson
 
Other Games
NJ 2 Final
OT
Wash 1
Chi 3 Final
Ana 6
Fla 0 Final
NYR 5
StL 0 Final
Pho 2
Colo 2 Final
Edm 3
SJ 2 Final
Pitt 1