The Calgary Flames defeated the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday, but that could come at a devastating price.
Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff left the game after two periods, forcing 24-year-old Leland Irving into a relief appearance in just his first game action of the season.
The Flames went on to win 4-1, and Irving stopped all six shots he faced. Kiprusoff, 36, was involved in a collision with Johan Franzen late in the second period.
According to the Flames Twitter account, Kiprusoff will be “re-evaluated tomorrow.”
Kiprusoff has been a mainstay in the Flames net since the 2003-04 season, but specifically in the playoffs, when he backstopped Calgary to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kiprusoff has played a minimum of 70 games in each of the last seven seasons since the 2004-05 lockout and hasn’t posted fewer than 35 wins in each of those seasons.
The good news for the Flames was Jarome Iginla, 35, finally broke his goose egg in the goals column.
His first goal of the season gave Calgary a 1-0 lead early in the opening period.
Meanwhile, the Wings, struggling at 10th in the Western Conference with a 4-4-1 record, continue to be “a work in progress,” head coach Mike Babcock told the Calgary Herald.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…