NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Calgary
(Thursday, March 11th)
Final Score: Calgary 4, Ottawa 2
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Ville Nieminen's breakaway goal midway through the third period helped lift the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators at the Saddledome.
Marcus Nilson scored twice and Krzysztof Oliwa added a goal for Calgary, which is 4-2-1 in its last seven games. Miikka Kiprusoff allowed two goals on 23 shots in the victory, allowing the Flames to pull within three points of the Dallas Stars for fifth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat tallied for the Senators, who are 3-4-1 in their last eight overall. Patrick Lalime made 30 saves in the losing effort, which, coupled with a Boston victory, dropped the Senators into a second-place tie with Toronto in the Northeast Division behind the Bruins.
"They played hard...and did all the things we expected them to do, so you have to give them credit," said Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden.
With the game even at two apiece, Nieminen put the Flames ahead near the midpoint of the final session. Ottawa was pressing in the offensive zone, but Chris Phillips failed to keep the puck inside the blue line at the left point along the wall. With a head of steam, Nieminen skated in on a breakaway and lifted the puck over Lalime with 10:44 to play in regulation.
Ottawa's best chance for the equalizer came with 2:45 to go. Jason Spezza streaked down the left side on a partial breakaway, but Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr knocked the puck away.
The Flames won several key draws down the stretch before Nilson's empty-net goal sealed the victory.
The first two goals of the game both came on the power play.
Calgary opened the scoring at 6:24 of the first period. Flames' blueliner Toni Lydman took a pass at the left point and released a wrister on goal. Nilson followed the puck on its way and was able to deflect it with the shaft of his stick past Lalime.
Early on in the second, Calgary sniper Jarome Iginla was whistled for hooking and the Senators went to work with the man advantage. Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson assumed his usual power-play position at the centerpoint and blasted a slap shot. Kiprusoff made the initial save, but Hossa put home the rebound on a backhander from in front. His 31st goal tied it up 1:55 into the frame.
With just over five minutes to play in the middle period, the Flames went ahead, 2-1. Matthew Lombardi rumbled through the slot and attempted a wrister, but the puck skidded through both Ottawa defensemen before Oliwa swooped in and ripped it in with 5:04 remaining in the stanza.
"We've come a long way," said Oliwa about the Flames playoff hopes. "We are so close, we have to keep going to the very end."
Four and a half minutes into the third period, Havlat tied it up for the visitors with his 27th goal of the season, an unassisted tally.
Recently-acquired defenseman Greg de Vries, dealt to the Senators by the Rangers, played his first game for Ottawa, which is now 4-7-1 in its last 12 contests...With an assist, Alfredsson extended his point streak to six games...Calgary snapped a six-game winless skid versus Ottawa (1-5-1)...The Flames finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Sens were 1-for-3.
03/12 02:26:54 ET