In a battle of two teams starved for offence, Iginla’s goal with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation time stood up in an entertaining game played before a crowd of 18,404 at Scotiabank Place. Kiprusoff needed to make several tough saves, especially considering Ray Emery was almost perfect in goal at the other end for Ottawa (1-3-0-0), which dropped its third straight game.
Emery finished the night with 27 saves.
It was the first shutout of the season and 18th of his career for Kiprusoff, who had to make 17 stops in the third period alone.
Calgary (2-2-0-0) came into the game tied for fewest goals-for on the season so far.
It’s power play, which entered the game 1-for-25, went 0-for-5. Ottawa, 1-for-19 on the season, was 0-for-6.
The Senators had only seven goals through three contests this season.
As a result, Ottawa coach Bryan Murray reunited his high-scoring unit from a year ago, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Flames were having even more trouble in the goal-scoring department, managing just three through their four outings.
Calgary coach Jim Playfair also mixed up his lines, splitting up Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.
None of the personnel changes made any difference, however.
Emery was making his first start of the season for the Senators while Kiprusoff was starting his fourth consecutive game.
With both teams desperate for goals, they went on the attack straight out of the gate.
Ottawa’s first trip down the ice resulted in Andrej Meszaros wiring a shot past Kiprusoff but off the post and Calgary responded with an odd-man rush that resulted in a good scoring chance for the Flames that Emery stopped.
The game continued like that. Although the shot totals weren’t high, both teams had plenty of good chances in an end-to-end contest that featured plenty of hitting – the best being Dion Phaneuf’s levelling of Senators left-winger Denis Hamel.
However, neither team could find a goal until Iginla finally broke the deadlock when he collected Kristian Huselius’ partially blocked shot and slipped the puck past Emery from the slot.
Notes: Both teams are involved in all-Canadian matchups next. On Saturday, Ottawa is at Montreal and Calgary visits Toronto. . . . It was the Flames’ first visit to Scotiabank Place since Feb. 21, 2004. . . . Senators rookie Alexei Kaigorodov has yet to make his NHL debut after being a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. . . . Ottawa defenceman Joe Corvo skated Thursday morning for the first time since suffering a fractured foot in pre-season and could return to the lineup as early as next week.