Flames 3 Wild 0
CALGARY — Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves and Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist Monday night as the Calgary Flames won 3-0 over the Minnesota Wild.
Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester opened the scoring and Niklas Hagman got some insurance late in the third period for the Flames(10-12-2), who had lost four of their previous five on home ice.
That would be all the offence Kiprusoff needed as he collected his third shutout this season and 37th of his career.
Kiprusoff’s best stop came in the second period, preserving the Flames’ two-goal lead. Martin Havlat zipped a perfect pass through the slot to spring a wide open Marek Zidlicky on the breakaway. However, the Wild defenceman couldn’t fool Kiprusoff as the Flames goaltender jabbed out a pad to deny Zidlicky’s close-in shot.
Just a few minutes later, with Minnesota on the man-advantage, Zidlicky again threatened with a hard slap shot from the top of the face-off circle, but Kiprusoff was there to get his chest in front of the rising shot.
Minnesota (11-10-2) has lost four of its last five, but usually has Calgary’s number. The Wild won seven of the previous eight meetings between the two teams, including three straight in Calgary.
Iginla set up Bouwmeester’s goal by carrying the puck behind the net, then threading a backhand pass diagonally through the slot to the Flames uncovered defenceman who fired in his third of the season.
Bouwmeester, the NHL’s current iron man at 448 consecutive games played, is enjoying a solid season for the Flames. He leads the club in plus-minus (+8), and ranks fifth in the NHL in average ice time (25:49).
Iginla’s 10th goal came on his own rebound. His original shot from far out deflected wide of the net, but the puck caromed off the end boards and out front for Iginla to tuck past a surprised Jose Theodore.
The Minnesota backup got the start with Niklas Backstrom having surrendered 18 goals in his last three starts. Theodore finished with 28 saves on 31 shots.
Hagman, on a power play at 18:31 of the third period, rounded out the scoring for Calgary, which was coming off a 1-2-2 Eastern road trip.
Minnesota entered the night ranked second in the NHL on the power play, but came up empty on three attempts. Calgary went 1-for-3.
The Northwest Division rivals will face-off against each other three more times in the next three weeks including Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Flames, 14th in the Western Conference, welcome the division-leading Vancouver Canucks to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.
Notes: After scoring just two goals and eight points in the season’s first 15 games, Iginla has caught fire with eight goals and 12 points in the past nine games.