NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Calgary
(Thursday, March 18th)
Final Score: Calgary 2, Columbus 0
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Miikka Kiprusoff posted 23 saves for his third shutout of the season, as the surging Calgary Flames blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-0, at the Saddledome.
Kiprusoff stopped seven shots in the first period and eight in each of the second and third stanzas for Calgary, which pushed its unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) and was coming off a big 4-1 win in Detroit on Tuesday.
"It was a big win again," Kiprusoff said. "It was a huge two points."
Matthew Lombardi and Jarome Iginla scored for the Flames, who, despite the victory, remained in sixth place in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
Calgary, with 86 points, is searching for its first postseason berth since the spring of 1996. The Flames sit one point behind the Dallas Stars, who blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Thursday.
"It doesn't matter who we're playing," said Lombardi. "We have to dictate where we want to be at the end of the season."
Marc Denis turned in a solid effort between the pipes with 33 saves for Columbus, which has dropped eight consecutive games.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Flames went ahead 1-0 on Lombardi's 14th goal of the season at the 6:19 mark of the second. Calgary defenseman Denis Gauthier released a wrist shot from the left point that never reached the net.
The puck deflected off of Columbus' Duvie Westcott in front before Lombardi scooped it up, shifted to his backhand and beat Denis from the top of the crease.
Kiprusoff continued to shine and kept the Flames in front with several key saves in the final period. Near the 14-minute mark, he slid across the crease and made a nice pad save on Manny Malhotra.
With just over one minute to go in regulation, Columbus went on the power play when Ville Nieminen was whistled for obstruction-holding. Already skating 5- on-4, the Blue Jackets pulled Denis to gain a two-man advantage.
After two good chances were thwarted by Kiprusoff, the Blue Jackets scrambled to gain control. However, Iginla eventually picked up the puck and fired it all the way from his own zone into the open net to seal the victory.
The Flames improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven home games...Columbus has just two wins (2-13-3) in its last 18 games on the road and had just one win in four tries against Calgary this season...The Blue Jackets have lost five of their last seven at the Saddledome...Kiprusoff notched his sixth career shutout...Columbus finished scoreless on seven power-play chances, while the Flames ended 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
03/19 02:03:53 ET