DENVER – Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary Flames are having a lot of fun at the Colorado Avalanche’s expense.
Kiprusoff made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Daymond Langkow scored his fifth goal in Calgary’s 1-0 victory over Colorado on Thursday night. The Flames started the month with five losses in their first eight games, including a 6-1 setback in San Jose on Nov. 13. They came back with a 4-1 home win against Colorado on Tuesday night and followed that with the shutout Thursday night.
“We played a pretty bad game against San Jose and we knew we had to do something different,” said Kiprusoff, who was rarely challenged in his 28th career shutout. “It’s been a good couple of games.”
The Avalanche have struggled against Calgary this season, losing all four games to the Flames, the first three in Calgary.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen a team beat our team four times in one year,” Colorado forward Ian Laperriere said. “We’ll see them two more times.”
The Flames have dominated shots on goal in the past two games, and only solid play by Peter Budaj, who had 32 saves, kept Colorado in Thursday’s game.
The only save he didn’t make came when Langkow knocked in a rebound Mark Giordano’s rebound with 9:44 left in the second period. Giordano took a shot from the left circle that bounced off of Budaj, and Langkow one-timed it for the game’s only goal.
“That’s a simple play,” Langkow said. “Gio made a nice move there and came down and put a pretty hard shot on net and I jumped on the rebound.”
The Avalanche nearly tied it with less than two minutes left, but Kiprusoff stopped Milan Hejduk in the crease.
“You have to be a little lucky on some of those,” said Kiprusoff, whose other shutout this season was against Colorado on Oct. 28.
Colorado hasn’t had much luck against the Flames this year. In addition to the two shutouts, they’ve lost two one-goal games to Calgary.
“They have put together good games plans and stayed with them,” Avalanche coach Tony Granato said.
Colorado’s lone bright spot has been special teams. The Avalanche killed off all six of Calgary’s power plays Thursday and have killed off 27 of 29 in their last five games.
The Flames, who outshot the Avalanche 51-23 in Calgary on Tuesday night, held a 10-7 shot advantage in the first period. Colorado killed off three minor penalties in the frame but managed to get three good scoring chances. Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth had the best chances, but Kiprusoff kept the game scoreless with two good saves.
“We had two bad changes early in the game and he had to make two great saves,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said. “You look at the shots against, and we try to keep it down, but the goalie still has to come up with a couple of very important saves if you want to come away with a shutout.”
Calgary’s best scoring chances came when Adrian Aucoin hit a post with 7:51 left in the first period and Giordano hit the right post on a power play with 17:50 left in the second period.
The Flames didn’t need much offence against Colorado, which has scored just six regulation goals in its last six games.
“We’ve been squeezing the stick a little bit more,” Laperriere said. “But you can’t score four or five goals every night in this league. You have to focus on winning 1-0 games. We have played strong defence and look for our chances, but they haven’t come.”
Notes: Avalanche C Joe Sakic missed his fourth straight game and fifth in the last six with a back injury. He could return to the lineup Saturday at Los Angeles. … Calgary F Jarome Iginla’s assist on Giordano’s goal was the 400th of his career. … Svatos sustained an abdominal injury in the second period and didn’t play in the third. Granato said he didn’t know the severity of the injury.