Take your best shot

STEVE MacFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

Miikka Kiprusoff is looking forward to playing his first game this season, just not necessarily his first shootout.

"I'm not the biggest fan of those things but I think fans are going to love it and it's going to be huge," admitted the Calgary Flames star last week. "It's a mental thing, you (don't want to) lose."

He got his first taste of the one-on-one tiebreaker yesterday at the Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex featuring all the team's forwards and goaltenders.

Only one puck got past Kiprusoff -- a top-shelf shot from Brandon Prust. The Finn looked great gliding from side to side, kicking away some attempts and poking away others.

"The ice was awful, especially hard for the players," Kiprusoff said yesterday after the breakaway drill.

He knows what happened to Phoenix netminder Brian Boucher, who was injured in a pre-season shootout last week, but isn't going to worry about that possibility.

"It can happen," he said. "Of course, if you don't have too much work in the third period, you get a little cold, then it can be dangerous.

"You just have to be ready and stretch out."

Despite his admission of not being a big fan of shootouts, Kiprusoff knows the drills are important last week he was eager to start practising them.

Another supporter of the new drill is Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

"It's going to be pretty important, there's going to be quite a few shootouts," said Iginla, who knows how crucial those extra points can be. "It could be the difference for teams making the playoffs and not making the playoffs. I imagine we're going to be working on that a bit."

And who better to practise against than one of the best goaltenders in the game?

"Kipper is amazing. He's so quick and he reads it well," said Iginla.

ICE CHIPS: Iginla was stoned by Brent Krahn in the shootout ... Chuck Kobasew undressed Philippe Sauve with a deke to the backhand after being tripped up by Kiprusoff in his first attempt ... Shean Donovan and Tomi Maki were the only players to beat Krahn ... Prust scored his second on Curtis McElhinney ... Byron Ritchie and Marcus Nilson also beat McElhinney ... Darren McCarty lightened the mood by tossing his stick in mock disgust after missing his shot.


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