Flames-Wild: Flames Stellar In Shootout Dazzler
The Calgary Flames answered their lack of effort on the previous night with a wild affair at Xcel Energy Center.
The Minnesota Wild were outplayed by the Flames, who played more aggressively and matched the intensity of a leading division team in which they always had tight games going in with.
Wednesday night's game proved to be similar, in that although both sides were able to muster 31 shots on net, only two were allowed during regulation on both sides. In part with the heroics of Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff who saved 14 shots in the second period alone with three powerplay chances.
The first goal for the Flames came with a nifty pass with Alex Tanguay along the boards, as Moss erupted from the goal crease he scored his second goal of the season, with just his second game back after a high-ankle sprain.
The Wild however, responded with a controversial goal that saw Kiprusoff beat blockerside after being interfered with by an opposing player.
Though the team did attempt to fight the goal, in the end no whistle was blown on the ice, therefore no change could be made on the goal.
Within the next shift it seemed that Calgary had answered right back, as Kristian Huselius made a nifty tip over Niklas Backstrom's glove.
However earlier in the play the referee's whistle had blown too early, therefore another misfortune of the Flames seemed to hit as two goals seemed to now haunt them.
The Flames remained a resilient group, refused to cower to the face of adversity and made sure that the deed would be completed on this night.
There were stellar plays made throughout the game, including a powerplay chance in which a rebound given off the Wild's netminder found it into Huselius's stick for retribution as he buried a goal.
Again, the Wild would respond on a powerplay of their own, and heading into extra time the teams were deadlocked on shots and goals as well.
Though overtime would prove to be a thriller with breakaway chances for both the Wild and the Flames, a shootout proved necessary.
In the shootout, the Flames first shooter Huselius mesmerized Backstrom with his swoop-skating ability, which eventually turned into a deke combo as he wristed a shot five-hole through a stunned Wild netminder.
Mikko Koivu, the Wild's first shooter was thwarted by Kiprusoff's left pad in his attempt.
The Flames second shooter, Dion Phaneuf needed no dekes of his own as he only had one goal in mind, as he slapped a shot that definitely stung the Wild's netminder underneath the padding underneath the neck.
After Brian Rolston shot his legendary slapshot from 20 feet away and went wide, that set the Flames' captain up for his shot.
Jarome Iginla went in not noted for his dekeing ability but rather quite accurate shot, on this night it was both that fooled Backstrom as he went backhand, forehand and roofed his shot glove side over the shoulder of Backstrom.
As the Flames ended their four-game losing skid, they will need to carry on this energy that encompassed their game Wednesday night as they take on the ever-surprising LA Kings.
Curtis Joseph officially made it into Calgary's lineup, so it will be interesting to see who will get the nod for Friday's game, as Kiprusoff is coming off one of his better games of the season.
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