The Minnesota Wild only managed a paltry 16 shots on Miikka Kiprusoff, yet they beat the Calgary Flames 3-1. Ultimately, Minnesota’s Finns dominated Calgary’s Finns, and it started in net.
While Kipper allowed three goals on only 16 shots, Niklas Backstrom stopped an impressive 28 out of 29.
It was a fairly even game from a level of play standpoint leading into the third period, with the Wild holding a 2-0 lead thanks to two second period goals after being out-shot 12-14. Backstrom made his biggest impact in the third, though, as the two teams tied 1-1 despite the fact that the Flames out-shot the Wild 15-4.
Antti Miettinen scored a goal, Chuck Kobasew had one tally but Miiko Koivu was the biggest star of the game, as he had a goal and two assists in the game for Minnesota. Matt Stajan scored Calgary’s only goal.
Both the Wild and Flames are the outside looking in among the Western Conference playoff contenders, but Minnesota is in much better shape. Minnesota has 14 wins and 32 points in 31 games while Calgary waddles behind, with 14 wins and 31 points in 33 games.
Again, there just isn’t any margin of error in the wacky West.