Calgary Flames Place Miikka Kiprusoff and Mikael Backlund on Injured Reserve

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IFebruary 9, 2013

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 23: Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames reaches out to make a glove save during the second period of NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks on January 23, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Calgary Flames have placed goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and center Mikael Backlund on injured reserve, according to 

Kiprusoff is listed as day-to-day, but will likely miss about a week of action because of a Grade 1 MCL sprain. His placement on IR is retroactive to February 5. Kiprusoff is 2-3-2 this season with a goals-against average of 3.24 and a save percentage of .870. 

Backup goaltender Leland Irving will take over during Kiprusoff’s absence. The 24-year-old Alberta native led the Flames to a 4-3 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. In nine career games, Irving is 2-3-3 with a GAA of 3.03 and a save percentage of .912. 

Backlund suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain Thursday against the Blue Jackets and is expected to be out for four to six weeks. The 23-year-old was off to the best start of his career, having tallied three goals and an assist in his first eight games this season. 

The Flames called up (per the Calgary Herald's Vicki Hall) forward Ben Street from the AHL's Abbotsford Heat to fill the empty roster spot left by Backlund. 

The 25-year-old has played in 44 games this season with the Heat, scoring 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points. Street is expected to make his NHL debut Saturday night when the Flames visit the Vancouver Canucks. 

The Flames are also dealing with a couple of other injuries at forward. Sven Baertschi (hip flexor) remains on injured reserve and is listed as week-to-week. Mike Cammalleri (hip flexor) is day-to-day. 

Given Calgary's lack of depth overall, it can’t afford injuries to key players—especially in a shortened season. 

The Flames are currently three points out of a playoff spot, but they do have games in hand on the competition. Calgary has played the fewest games of any NHL team at this point in the season. 

However, if players like Kiprusoff and Cammalleri miss significant time, the Flames may find themselves at the bottom of the NHL standings in a couple of weeks.