Miikka Kiprusoff put on a stellar performance tonight stopping 33 shots as the Calgary Flames shutout the Ottawa Senators 2-0 to win their 4th consecutive game. It is Kipper’s 34th shutout of his career. Coincidence? I think not…
The Flames started out slowly, seeming to give the Senators too many chances, but by the end of the first period it was 1-0 Calgary and the shots were only 4-4. In the 2nd, the Flames seemed to be skating with elastic bands keeping their feet from moving too far apart, but they still managed to stop the Senators from getting shots on net. When the Sens did get a shot on net Kipper was there to close the door with a Finnish smile and his flashy white pads.
I’m not sure what the final shot-block count was but the Flames must have blocked 25-30 shots tonight. Eric Nystrom took a “walk it off” walk down the tunnel tonight, as did Cory Sarich. According to the always knowledgeable Alex Ruiz, Giordano blocked 6 shots, Sarich blocked 5 and JayBo blocked 4. After exploding for 14 goals in their previous 3 games, the Flames needed shot blocking like that tonight to come out on the right end of a 2-0 shutout.
Calgary’s win tonight keeps them in 8th place in the tight Western Conference race for the playoffs. They are one point ahead of Detroit and tied with Nashville. I’m sure the Flames have their sights on their next game in Vancouver, but us Flames fans are looking at 6th, 5th and *maybe* even 4th place in the West, which are all looking a lot more feasable now that we’re only 6 points back with 14 games remaining. The season is far from over at this point, and win streaks will determine who finishes where.
Needless to say, the Flames are far from done – both in the “out of the playoffs” sense and the “our work here is done” sense. Let’s see how far this new infusion of energy from the new players can take them.