CALGARY – Jarome Iginla scored twice, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves fresh off signing a US$35 million, six-year extension, and the Calgary Flames won 5-1 over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
Kiprusoff, the NHL’s Vezina Trophy winner two years ago, was sharp from the opening faceoff making solid stops against David Legwand and Rich Peverley in the game’s opening minutes to the supportive applause of the sell-out crowd of 19,289.
The game turned in Calgary’s favour when Iginla scored his seventh goal of the season at 3:59, just seven seconds into the Flames’ first power play opportunity.
Iginlastarted the sequence by beating Vernon Fiddler on a face-off. Exhibiting crisp and quick passing, the Flames moved the puck around the Nashville end with Daymond Langkow eventually zipping a pass to Iginla, who one-timed a shot past goaltender Chris Mason.
Matthew Lombardi, Kristian Huselius, and Eric Nystrom, with his first career goal, also scored for Calgary (6-3-3). The Flames are 4-1-1 in the first six games of its season-high seven-game homestand.
Alexander Radulov scored the lone goal for Nashville (4-7-0). The Predators began a five-game road trip with its fifth consecutive loss away from home, where they have been outscored 21-3.
One of Kiprusoff’s most pivotal stops came in the second period with the Flames up 2-0 and on a two-man advantage.
Legwand broke away down the right side and after side-stepping Dion Phaneuf on a nifty move, Legwand was thwarted on the dangerous short-handed opportunity by Kiprusoff who turned aside his shot from 10-feet out.
It was less than a minute later that Huselius got the puck in front of the net and mishandled the puck only for it to slide surprisingly right through the pads of a handcuffed Mason.
Kiprusoff’s shutout bid was snapped 2:31 into the third period by Radulov on a Nashville power-play. Radulov moved into the slot and snapped a perfect shot into the top corner from 30 feet out that the Flames 31-year-old had no chance on.
It was the only goal Kiprusoff would give up of the 16 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes.
The Predators, broke a 177 minute, 44 second road scoring drought with the goal.
Calgary wrapped up the scoring with two goals late in the third, the first coming from rookie Nystrom in his fourth career NHL game.
Nystrom, son of former NHLer Bob Nystrom, went to the net down the left-wing and was set up nicely by David Moss for a one-timer.
Notes: It was Calgary’s 100th consecutive regular season sell-out… Langkow played in his 800th career NHL game… Calgary D Anders Eriksson returned to the line-up after being a healthy scratch four games in a row. He was inserted for David Hale… Calgary RW Owen Nolan is still looking for his first goal as a Flame. The free agent signing has two assists in 12 games… The Flames defence pairing of Dion Phaneuf and Adrian Aucoin have been together for eight games and they are combined plus-17 during that span… The game’s final two periods of the game were played with just one linesman after Brian Mach left with the flu.