Initially, this game was all about Antti Niemi’s tough night and the strong possibility that the San Jose Sharks might have a goalie controversy on their hands. Yet Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s great performance was the real story of this contest, as the other other Finnish goalie pitched a 27-save shutout tonight.
This was Kipper’s second shutout of the season.
Calgary 4, San Jose 0
To Antero Niittymaki’s credit, he didn’t allow another goal after giving up his first (and the Flames’ fourth) tally about three minutes into his relief duty for Niemi.
Rene Bourque scored the first (aka the game-winner) on the power play and provided the final goal to boot. Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy also scored for Calgary while Alex Tanguay racked up two primary assists.
The Flames are (cough) heating up quite a bit, now. They’ve won two in a row, outscoring San Jose and Columbus 10-2. Calgary has four wins in their last five games. They now have 10 points in eight games played, giving them the Northwest Division lead over Colorado and Vancouver, two teams tied at eight points in eight games played.
This was the first road loss of the season for San Jose. They are tied with Anaheim for third place with seven points, but played two less games so far (the Ducks played in nine while the Sharks appeared in seven). They trail the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, two teams tied for first in the Pacific, with 5-2 records for 10 points in seven games.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: