NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Calgary
(Friday, December 11th)
Final Score: Minnesota 2, Calgary 1 (OT)
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Martin Havlat's overtime winner with 1:45 left in the extra session led Minnesota to a 2-1 win over Calgary for the Wild's first win at Pengrowth Saddledome in over two years.
James Sheppard also scored for the Wild, who had lost seven in a row at Calgary dating back to March 17, 2007. Niklas Backstrom stopped 22 shots to earn the win, Minnesota's 12th in its last 18 games.
"Tonight, we kept it until the last second," Havlat said. "And I think we played one of the best games of the season."
Aaron Johnson had the lone tally for Calgary, which lost despite a fine effort from Miikka Kiprusoff. The former Vezina Trophy winner stopped 44-of-46 shots in the hard-luck loss -- he made at least 10 saves in each regulation period.
"Kiprusoff gave us a chance to win, and we didn't capitalize on that," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. "That was the difference."
The Flames had won six of eight coming into the game.
After two scoreless periods to open the contest, the Flames finally opened the game's scoring at the 5:10 mark of the third. Backstrom initially made a save on a Calgary shot in close, but the puck bounced around before being sent out to the point. Johnson grabbed the disc and fired it into the wide-open portion of the net before Backstrom could get in position.
Minnesota then managed to tie the game four minutes later. Shane Hnidy fired a slapshot from the point that missed the net and bounced off the boards to Sheppard, who beat Kiprusoff up high from in close with 10 1/2 minutes remaining.
The game remained tied after regulation, but Havlat gave the Wild the win in overtime.
On an odd-man rush, Havlat sent the disc to the left circle to Marek Zidlicky, who drew Kiprusoff out of the crease before passing it back to Havlat, who fired the puck into the wide-open net for the winning tally with 1:45 left.
The Wild dominated the opening period but couldn't score. Kiprusoff stopped all 19 shots he faced, while Calgary managed just three shots in the frame.
The two teams both registered 10 shots on goal in the second period, but neither scored. Minnesota had a bit over a minute's worth of two-man advantage time, but Calgary managed to fight it off to keep the game scoreless heading into the third.
Johnson tallied his first goal of the season...Minnesota lost five of six to Calgary in 2008-09...The Wild still have only two wins and a tie in their last 17 trips to Calgary.
12/12 00:47:33 ET