Kiprusoff was credited with 37 saves as he led the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Ducks in front of an sell-out crowd of 19,289 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome. But the Flames’ goaltender thanked defenceman Andrew Ference for making one of those saves on Teemu Selanne in the third period with the Ducks on a power play.
“I think our best save was made by Andy Ference,” Kiprusoff said. “It was empty net and he was diving and (made a) nice stop with his toe. It was a good stop from him. I think he used to play goal.”
Ference was happy to help out Kiprusoff, who was named the game’s first star.
“He saved my bacon so many times I figured I owed him one,” Ference said. “He makes it easy on us. When he’s on fire the rebounds are non existent. He calms everything down. It’s great being a defenceman in front of him.”
Daymond Langkow and Tony Amonte scored first-period goals for the Flames (6-7-2), who have now won three straight to climb back into the thick of the Western Conference standings.
“We had an unbelievable start,” said Amonte, who now has three goals in his past two games. “Kipper was unbelievable as always. He made some unbelievable saves, especially in the second and third. He’s a top-notch goalie. He’s proven it to himself. When he’s on his game, you just can’t get a puck by him.”
Matthew Lombardi added an empty-netter late in the third to round out the scoring. Alex Tanguay had two assists.
One night after setting the NHL record, the Ducks (12-1-4) finally lost their first game of the season in regulation. The Ducks blanked the Vancouver Canucks 6-0 on Thursday night, the 16th consecutive game in which they earned at least a point, eclipsing the record previously held by the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers (12-0-3).
“We didn’t win,” Selanne said. “We move on. No big deal.”
Defenceman Chris Pronger, who was booed by the crowd every time he touched the puck, said giving up those first two goals put the Ducks in a touch position to extend their streak.
“When you spot a team like that two goals, it gives them a lot of confidence,” said Pronger, who saw his point-scoring streak snapped at six games.
“We didn’t expect to go 82-0 this year,” added Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf. “It’s a long season. We took this thing as far as we could. Now it’s over. We can just relax and get ready for Sunday now. That’s our biggest focus now is how we respond to a game like this.”
Despite the loss, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle was proud of his team’s effort.
“We had a bad start,” Carlyle said. “We gave up two early goals and we didn’t quite have the execution level to get it done. Did we work hard? Damn right we worked hard. Did we compete? We competed our ass off. Those are the things you’re most proud of. There was no quit in our group; we battled right to the end. Our work ethic was strong.”
The Flames scored goals 19 seconds apart in the first period to build up an early lead that they would never relinquish.
First, Langkow backhanded a quick shot on net that hit goalie Ilja Bryzgalov’s pad and then bounced off Anaheim forward Chris Kunitz’s shoulder and into the net at 6:52.
On the next shift, Amonte picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated over the blue-line before he snapped a perfect shot under the glove of Bryzgalov and just inside the far post.
“I just tried to hit it out in front of me, get on your horse, get down the ice and pick a spot to shoot at and got lucky in off the post,” Amonte said.
Kiprusoff made several nice saves in the opening period, including stops on close-in opportunities by Kunitz and Dustin Penner and a glove grab on a point shot by defenceman Francois Beauchemin.
In the second, Kiprusoff stoned Ryan Shannon, who unleashed a hard one-timer from the slot. The Flames netminder then gloved a point shot by Pronger.
After allowing two goals on three shots in the first period, Bryzgalov was pulled from the Anaheim net in favour of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who stopped all nine shots he faced in the middle frame and five more in the third.
Kiprusoff continued to shine in the third period, making 19 saves, including big ones on Rob Niedermayer, Getzlaf, Shane O’Brien and Selanne to frustrate the Anaheim offensive attack.
Notes: Heading into the game, Calgary had allowed just seven goals in the third period while Anaheim had surrendered eight in the final frame. Only New Jersey (six) had allowed fewer. . Selanne and Getzlaf had five-game point-scoring streaks ended, while Kunitz saw his four-game streak end. . Calgary captain Jarome Iginla assisted on Langkow’s first period goal to extend his point-scoring streak to four games.