Calgary Flames' netminder Miikka Kiprusoff had gotten off to a bad start this season.
No one would have realized it with the way he played Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
Kiprusoff stopped 19 of 20 shots through 40 minutes before leaving with an injury. Backup Leland Irving stopped all six third period shots as the Flames defeated the Red Wings 4-1.
Kiprusoff has been a workhorse in Calgary, having played at least 70 games in each of the last seven seasons.
"You take for granted how good he is and how consistent he is," Flames' captain Jarome Iginla said. "He's a big part of our team."
The Red Wings, meanwhile, appear to be backsliding after having cleaned things up from a bad season opener.
"I thought we did some good things tonight, but we made some mistakes and they shot in our net without any question about it, so we're chasing the game," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
The Flames jumped out to a lead early. Iginla scored his first of the year at 3:24 as he took advantage of a crowd in front of Red Wings' netminder Jimmy Howard, and knocked a loose puck into the net.
They would strike again on a 5-on-3 power play courtesy of a Curtis Glencross goal at 10:35.
Iginla was awarded a penalty shot at 14:12, but he was stonewalled by Howard.
Dennis Wideman put the Flames up 3-1 with 24 seconds left in the period, as he fired a one timer off of a faceoff win past Howard.
Mark Giordano added a power play goal at 15:58 to put the game out of reach.
Howard finished with 19 saves.
“Catch-up hockey is losing hockey,” Babcock said. “You can’t start from behind. You have to start from ahead; that’s what you want to do and get playing right from the get-go. We have to continue to improve, that’s all there is to it.”
- CGY Jarome Iginla (goal)
- DET Johan Franzen (PP goal)
- CGY Mike Cammalleri (2 assists)
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