|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|CGY||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames are quite used to making a little offense go a long way with Miikka Kiprusoff in goal.
Kiprusoff made 26 saves for his NHL-leading seventh shutout and the Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 Saturday night.
"It's been the same way all season," Kiprusoff said. "You just have to take one game at a time and can't look too far forward because every game is huge."
His best stop was a spectacular effort against Marcel Goc halfway through the second period that protected the Flames' one-goal lead.
Darting into the Flames zone, Goc cut to the middle and turned Jason Wiemer inside out. Goc then eluded Bryan Marchment's poke check attempt, and fired a shot that appeared headed for the top corner before Kiprusoff grabbed it with his glove.
"That's the one that really sticks out," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It was a great move and a great shot and he came up with a great save."
Kiprusoff also leads the NHL with 31 victories. The Flames have scored only 13 goals in the seven shutouts.
"Kipper is a confident guy right now back there and, defensively, they're one of the best teams in the league," said Sharks goalie and Kiprusoff's former teammate Evgeni Nabokov. "Their identity is they're not going to score four or five goals, they're going to score two or three, but it's going to be enough to win."
San Jose is 10th in the Western Conference, six points behind eighth place Edmonton in the playoff race.
"We've got to realize how important these games are," San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan said. "The way teams can get points nowadays, especially with the amount of games we have left, we can't let these things slip as it's really hard to make up points."
Jarome Iginla and Chris Simon scored for Northwest Division-leading Calgary, which holds a two-point lead over Vancouver and a three-point advantage against Colorado. Iginla stretched Calgary's lead to 2-0 with 4:41 remaining.
As Hannan attempted to keep in a puck inside the Calgary blue line, he was bowled over by Mike Leclerc. Hannan left the puck free for Iginla, who raced away on a breakaway and beat Nabokov through the legs.
Kiprusoff's busiest stretch came midway through the first period when teammates Shean Donovan and Darren McCarty were called for minor penalties 24 seconds apart.
During the extended power play, the Sharks recorded 10 shots on goal - six coming during the 1:36 stretch of two-man advantage.
Joe Thornton was thwarted twice in a row from the side of the net, and Kiprusoff jabbed out his pad to kick aside Jonathan Cheechoo's dangerous shot from the slot. Sharks defenseman Tom Pressing was also turned aside twice from in close.
"We knew the Sharks are real hungry now hunting for a playoff spot so we knew it was going to be a tough game," Kiprusoff said.
Simon gave Calgary the lead just 3:04 in.
During a prolonged scramble in front of the Sharks net, San Jose failed on a couple of attempts to clear the puck. Simon was able to knock it past Nabokov.
"We had some good chances, but we didn't bear down and score when we had to," Hannan said. "We had the shots and the opportunity to win the game but it just didn't happen."
The Sharks finished 0-for-6 on the power play after converting nine times in their previous 22 chances.
"The Sharks have a pretty good power play, they move the puck around so good," Kiprusoff said. "Our killers did a great job of letting me see the puck."
Calgary was 0-for-7 with the man advantage. San Jose has killed off 27 straight short-handed situations over six games.
The Sharks have been shut out only three times this season, but the blankings have all come in their last 13 games.
Notes: Calgary LW Kristian Huselius (foot) was replaced in the lineup by Wiemer, a healthy scratch the previous five games. ... San Jose is 7-17-6 when allowing the first goal, compared to 21-6-2 when taking a 1-0 lead. The Sharks are 15-0 when they score the first two goals.
|Chris Simon (6) ASST: Shean Donovan (9), Daymond Langkow (21)|
1 - 0 CGY
|Jarome Iginla (28) ASST: Mike Leclerc (16)|
2 - 0 CGY
|Nisse Ekman Holding against Matthew Lombardi|
|Shean Donovan Tripping against Niko Dimitrakos|
|Darren McCarty Slashing against Patrick Marleau|
|Steve Bernier Interference on goalkeeper against Miikka Kiprusoff|
|Mark Smith Hi-sticking against Darren McCarty|
|Bryan Marchment Roughing against Milan Michalek|
|Bryan Marchment Hi-sticking against Steve Bernier|
|Mark Smith Hooking against Chuck Kobasew|
|Chuck Kobasew Diving against Mark Smith|
|Nisse Ekman Too many men/ice - bench|
|Douglas Murray Hi-sticking against Chuck Kobasew|
|Patrick Marleau Holding against Chuck Kobasew|
|Matthew Lombardi Interference|
|Niko Dimitrakos Holding the stick against Jarome Iginla|
|Matthew Lombardi Hi-sticking against Steve Bernier|