Kings-Flames: Calgary Flames Usurp the Los Angeles Kings

Jay GandhiContributor IJanuary 20, 2008

In a game dominated by the shot count, fans witnessed a dueling goaltender's battle that was easily won by Calgary's most faithful, Miikka Kiprusoff.

Kipper's prolific night was only outshone by his own teammates' fruitful efforts—especially that of Daymond Langkow, whose third career hat trick helped the Flames to a landslide victory, 6-1.

The lone goal for the Kings took place after a very rare giveaway by Calgary's captain Jarome Iginla in Calgary’s defensive zone. Kiprusoff made the initial save, but the rebound was buried in the back of the net. Had it not been for that shot, the heroics of Kiprusoff would have produced his first shutout of the season.

The night, however, did mark the return of the chant of "Kipper, Kipper!" Kiprusoff single-handedly repelled shots on two consecutive power plays, including a dandy when he was down and out to bat down a puck that was marked for goal territory.

The crowd was soon at its feet, giving praise to their savior. Most importantly, for the first time this season Kiprusoff was given the applause that he truly deserved.

For the first time in many years, a hat trick by one of Calgary's own was scored at home, when Langkow tipped his third goal of the night past a stunned Kings' goalie, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who  had come on as third-period replacement. After Langkow has put the puck over the blue line, a flurry of hats proceeded downward onto the ice.

The Flames as a team outworked their opponents for a full 60 minutes—which has not been said on too many occasions this season. Of equal importance was their capture of sole possession of first place and third place, in the Northwest division and Western conference, respectively.

This game also marked number 31, Curtis Joseph's first game with the Flames, as a backup in uniform. Joseph looked on from the bench with an equally impressed crowd as his team cruised to victory.

The Flames have one game remaining before the All-Star break—against the Wild at home, which should turn out to be quite the spectacle for fans to watch.