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Kiprusoff finally gets shutout as Flames blank Red Wings

Feb 23, 2008 - 6:40 AM CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- It took nearly five months, but Miikka Kiprusoff finally registered a shutout.

Kiprusoff made 38 saves en route to his first blanking of the season as the Calgary Flames skated to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Alex Tanguay scored the lone goal for the Flames, who have won three consecutive contests.

A finalist for last season's Vezina Trophy, Kiprusoff had not posted a shutout in his first 58 starts this season. His previous blanking came on March 27, 2007, when he posted a 1-0 shootout triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

"It feels good," Kiprusoff said. "I obviously didn't think about it too much."

The 31-year-old netminder was superb in this one. He turned aside 12 shots in the first period and 13 in each of the next two sessions to secure his 25th career shutout.

"He's obviously a key to this team," Tanguay said of Kiprusoff. "He's an outstanding goaltender. He played a good, solid game. A better part of the game, I think we were dominated by them. Kipper stood on his head."

Tanguay gave Kiprusoff all the offensive support he needed with 8:06 remaining in the opening period.

The 28-year-old Tanguay, who scored twice in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars, had his attempt from the side of the net deflect off a defender and past All-Star goaltender Chris Osgood. It was Tanguay's 14th goal of the season.

"Tonight, I felt like I played a good game with a lot of scoring chances, made good passes," Tanguay said. "I could have easily got three or four points."

The Red Wings' best chance to tie the contest came midway through the third period, when Kris Draper had an open net from the slot off a rebound. Draper, however, fanned on the shot as the Flames maintained their one-goal edge.

Osgood turned aside 25 shots for Detroit, which suffered a 1-0 loss for the second time in three games. The Stars also defeated the Red Wings by that margin on Sunday.

"You have to respect the fact, too, that they've learned how to win for a long period of time, and you could see that as they were competing in the latter stages of the game," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "Their top-end players particularly are very effective and push very hard, and I think that was demonstrated today. We bent a bit, we didn't break, Miikka was great in net."

Detroit's defense corps was shorthanded Friday. All-Star Nicklas Lidstrom missed the game after spraining his right knee Monday, and fellow blue-liner Chris Chelios left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury and did not return.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock says the team will know more about Chelios on Saturday.

"He got hit with something off his bone," he said. "I don't know exactly what the scoop is. They say it's pain tolerance or something like that.

"I thought our D did a good job. They didn't spend near as much time in our zone. I thought we were cautious early in the game - like we'll just keep it close until we decided we wanted to win the game. Then, I thought we got better as the game went on."