ST. LOUIS – Before running into Miikka Kiprusoff, the St. Louis Blues hadn’t been shut out in an 110 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NHL.
Two days later, Kiprusoff stonewalled them again.
Kiprusoff stopped 25 shots for his second consecutive shutout and sixth of the season, benefiting from strong defence and holding on before a five-goal third period outburst in the Calgary Flames’ 6-0 victory on Tuesday night.
“He was great both games,” said Jarome Iginla, who had two goals and an assist. “In the second period they had some good chances and it was anybody’s game at that point.”
Iginla’s line totalled nine points, with Alex Tanguay getting a goal and two assists and Brendan Morrison adding three assists. The Flames finished 3-0 against the Blues, outscoring them 11-1, and have won eight of the last 10 in St. Louis.
Forward Alex Steen said it was “fair to say” that the Blues gave up.
“It’s an immature way of playing the third period,” Steen said. “I thought for sure even when they got that second one, we were still right there and it just deflates us.”
Making his 17th consecutive start, Kiprusoff made a one-goal lead stand up just as he did in a 1-0 victory Sunday in Calgary while waiting for more offence. He hasn’t allowed the Blues to score in 132 minutes and 11 seconds, and has 40 career shutouts.
Kiprusoff allowed one goal on 81 shots against St. Louis for the season, a minuscule .034 goals-against average. He’s 18-5-2 for his career against the Blues.
The Blues threatened several times, but were often stymied by shots that either couldn’t make it to the net or sailed wide. St. Louis had 27 shots in the loss at Calgary.
The Flames totalled 24 blocked shots, 16 more than the Blues, and one fewer than Kiprusoff’s save total.
“Some games they have more saves than I do,” Kiprusoff said. “It’s huge when the forwards block the shots.”
Calgary led 1-0 after two periods on Tanguay’s 17th of the season off Iginla’s strip of defenceman Barret Jackman behind the St. Louis net in the first period. The Flames busted loose in the third against 23-year-old goalie Ben Bishop, making his third straight start in place of the injured Jaroslav Halak.
“That’s how you can break the teams, just don’t make mistakes and keep pushing,” Kiprusoff said. “I think that’s what happened.”
Iginla ended a five-game goal drought and Morrison had totalled one assist the previous three games.
“To be honest, our play the last two games has not been very good,” Morrison said. “If we want to be a contender, we have to be better.”
Iginla scored his 26th on a 2-on-1 break with Morrison early in the period and got his 27th midway through the period. David Moss and Robyn Regehr added power-play goals against Bishop, who had stopped 58 of 59 shots his previous two starts and was in goal in Sunday’s 1-0 loss.
Niklas Hagman made it a five-goal third period with 4.8 seconds to go.
“Iginla really made us look bad on a few plays, a couple times they got odd-man rushes, a couple times we just failed to grab assignments and they made us pay,” Blues forward David Backes said. “It should be tough for guys to sleep tonight.”
Notes: Iginla has 24 goals and 40 assists in 55 career games against the Blues. … Flames D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 489th straight game, the longest active streak in the NHL. … Tanguay has scored in five straight games with two goals and seven assists. … The Flames have scored in 21 of their last 24 games. … The Blues have sold out all 33 games, although thousands were gone by midway in the third.