NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Minnesota
(Tuesday, March 27th)
Final Score: Calgary 1, Minnesota 0 (SO)
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - A goaltenders duel was decided in the shootout as Alex Tanguay netted the game-winner to lead the Calgary Flames over the Minnesota Wild, 1-0, at Xcel Energy Center.
Niklas Backstrom and Miikka Kiprusoff combined to make 62 saves to force the shootout, but Backstrom was beaten by Tanguay on a wrist shot into the left corner in the first round.
Kiprusoff countered by making a stick save on Pavol Demitra's wrister before Jarome Iginla slipped the puck between the pads of Backstrom for a 2-0 shootout advantage.
Brian Rolston was Minnesota's last chance to keep the game alive, but he lost control of the puck as he went to the backhand and Calgary grabbed the big two points.
Kiprusoff, who picked up his seventh shutout of the season and 24th of his career, stopped 38 shots for the Flames, who have won four straight.
Calgary now has 92 points to move seven points ahead of Colorado for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"For us right now, it's just about getting a point and making sure we get in the playoffs," said Tanguay.
Backstrom stopped 28 shots for the Wild, who were on a franchise-best nine- game winning streak before the setback.
"I thought we played a good game," said Backstrom. "It was a tough one to lose. With five games left, we have to focus on getting as many points as possible."
Minnesota currently has 98 points, which is good for one point behind Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division and seventh place in the Western Conference.
Also, due to Colorado's 1-0 loss to Vancouver, Minnesota and Dallas clinched playoff berths.
Minnesota and Calgary will square off again in St. Paul on Thursday.
Minnesota peppered Kiprusoff with 14 shots in the first period, compared to only five for Calgary, but neither side was able to get the puck into the net in the opening frame.
The Wild continued to pour shots on net in the second period as they sent 15 on net, but Kiprusoff stood tall again. Backstrom stopped 11 shots in the middle stanza.
The defenses clamped down in the third period and only allowed a combined seven shots, four from Calgary in the final frame.
Minnesota almost scored the game-winner in overtime when Marian Gaborik and Demitra skated in on a 2-on-1, but Kiprusoff made a sprawling glove save on Demitra's wrist shot and the game went into the shootout.
The last time the Wild lost was on March 6 against San Jose...Calgary went 0- for-3 on the power play while Minnesota finished 0-for-2...Calgary has won four of seven games against Minnesota this season...Four of the games in the season series have been decided in the shootout, with each squad winning two.
03/28 01:29:21 ET