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.
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.