Minnesota 3 Calgary 0
CALGARY — Niklas Backstrom stopped all 41 shots he faced to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist for the Wild (8-3-3), which has won five straight games. Darroll Powe and Guillaume Latendresse, into an empty net, also scored for Minnesota.
The Flames (6-7-1) had seven power-play opportunities during the game, including a five-minute man advantage in the second period, but still couldn’t beat Backstrom.
It was Backstrom’s first start since Oct. 27 against Anaheim. Backup Josh Harding had started and won the Wild’s last four games, surrendering only three goals during that span.
Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves in the loss.
Despite being outshot 15-5 in the first period, Minnesota scored five minutes into the period on Powe’s first goal and first point in 14 games with the Wild since being acquired in the off-season from the Philadelphia Flyers for a draft pick.
Nick Johnson took the initial shot that deflected off of Calgary defenceman Anton Babchuk and Powe’s skate before trickling past Kiprusoff.
Late in the opening frame, Jarome Iginla took a drop pass from Alex Tanguay and wired a shot that deflected wide off the post behind Backstrom.
The Wild went up 2-0 at 12:27 in the second period when Heatley fired a nice feed from Mikko Koivu past Kiprusoff during a Minnesota power play.
Calgary was then awarded a five-minute power play when Johnson was given a match penalty for head-butting Iginla during a fight. The Flames fired seven shots during the man advantage but couldn’t get one past Backstrom.
The Flames kept pressing in the third and had another great chance during their sixth power-play opportunity of the game, but Backstrom made a spectacular glove grab on a shot from the side of the crease by Olli Jokinen.
Latendresse added a late empty-net goal to seal the victory for the Wild.
The Flames had great chances in the first period when the line of Jokinen, David Moss and Curtis Glencross had the Wild pinned in their own zone.
After Backstrom stopped a shot by Moss, Glencross picked up the rebound and tried to lift a backhand shot over the fallen Minnesota goalie, who managed to make a stick save before pouncing on the puck to cover it up.
A short time later, Backstrom went flat out to make another nice save to thwart a great scoring chance by Iginla from the slot.
Notes: After compiling a 3-18-4 in its first 25 games at the Saddledome, the Wild has now gone 6-1 in its last seven games in Calgary. … Backstrom has gone 5-0 in his last five games at the Saddledome and has an all-time record of 13-7-5 against the Flames. … During their five-game winning streak, the Wild has killed off all 21 power-play opportunities awarded to its opponents. … Iginla has scored 31 goals in 62 career games against Minnesota. When the Calgary captain scores against the Wild, the Flames have compiled a 19-2-1 record (11-0 at home).