LOS ANGELES (Ticker) — The reeling Calgary Flames needed a
spark, so Miikka Kiprusoff took matters into his own hands.
Kiprusoff made 36 saves and Mike Cammalleri scored a power-play
goal in the first period as the Flames blanked the Los Angeles
Kings, 2-0, on Thursday.
Rene Bourque added an empty-netter late in the third for
Calgary, which had lost five of six (1-4-1).
The 32-year-old Kiprusoff turned aside 12 shots in the first
session, 13 in the second and 11 in the third to secure his
fourth shutout of the season and 30th career.
“We left him out to hang again,” Cammalleri said. “We can’t put
that much pressure on our goaltender. It just shows you how
good he is.”
Rookie Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots for the Kings, whose
four-game winning streak was halted.
“We just needed that extra little push, that extra effort to get
to the net and get more pucks there,” Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll
said. “We had a lot of shots, but against a goaltender like
that, you’ve got to get them the dirty way.”
Los Angeles has dropped four of its last five home meetings with
Calgary, falling to 1-9-0 in the overall series since December
By notching his league-leading 32nd win of the season, the Finn
is just 16 away from tying New Jersey Devils netminder Martin
Brodeur’s single-season record of 48 set in 2006-07. The Flames
have 27 regular-season games remaining.
“He was excellent,” Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. “He’s a
focused goalie right now. When he’s on his game, he’s one of
the best. We did well on the penalty kill. We used a lot of
players, and they all worked hard.”
“We know they have been playing so well lately,” Kiprusoff said.
“We knew we had to play well to beat them. Most of the shots I
saw, and our defense took care of the rest.”
Kiprusoff got all the help he needed at 8:58 of the first
period, when Cammalleri – a former King – received a
cross-crease pass from Todd Bertuzzi and beat Quick from the
doorstep for his team-leading 29th goal of the season and a 1-0
Cammalleri, who was acquired from Los Angeles this past June, is
five goals shy of his career high set with the Kings in 2006-07.
“When I got booed, I don’t think people understand the fact that
I got traded,” Cammalleri said. “I didn’t leave. There’s a
Bourque sealed the win, depositing the puck into an empty net
with 36 seconds remaining in the third for his 19th tally.
“Those are games that you have to find a way to win,” said Los
Angeles coach Terry Murray, whose team was coming off a
five-game road trip (4-1-0). “You’re making a push to make the
playoffs, and a win puts you one point back of getting over that
threshold and getting into that top group. You have to find a
way to do it.
“We played hard. Historically, the first home game is a very
difficult one after a road trip. But when you have a goaltender
that’s as good as Kiprusoff is, you have to make life more
difficult for him.”
The Kings, who have surrendered two or fewer goals in 23 games
this season, stayed strong on the defensive end but were unable
to avoid being shut out for the eighth time this campaign and
sixth time at home.
“We must find a way to score,” Murray said. “We have to figure
that out. When you are coming home and playing well, you have
to find a way to keep it going. If you don’t, it can get away
from you in a hurry.”
“We have to find a way to win those type of games,” added Kings
center Anze Kopitar, whose three-game points streak was snapped.
“We have to put goals on the board. We are struggling there
with the power play.”
Los Angeles went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.
“When you have that many chances, you have to score,” Kopitar
said. “They capitalized on one of their power plays. We have
to do the same.”