SUN Hockey Pool

Ending on a high note

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla celebrates the winning shootout goal against the St. Louis...

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla celebrates the winning shootout goal against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. (Sun Media/Al Charest)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

The Calgary Flames probably won't admit it but they must have been feeling a little fragile last night.

Coming off an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday, a big win over the overmatched crew from St. Louis would have cured their blues.

The Blues, though, had other ideas as they forced extra minutes at the Saddledome for a second straight game in a 5-4 shootout victory for the Flames.

If not for a dynamic kick save by Miikka Kiprusoff in the final seconds of overtime, there would have been no shootout and the goalie would still be waiting for his 100th win as a Flame.

He reached that milestone in spectacular fashion, blanking both Blues players in the showdown but it should have been a much easier win.

The mood in the dressing room would have been much different if Kiprusoff didn't rob Lee Stempniak of a hat-trick on a one-timer with just a couple of ticks left inovertime and the Blues on the powerplay.

"They tried that play earlier in St. Louis, when we played there. So I kind of knew there was a guy there," said Kiprusoff, who did the splits to get his right pad on the puck.

"It's still a pretty tough play, it's a quick pass and you have to go over quickly. Nice to make that save."

The goaltender was sharp in the shootout, too, as he denied Stempniak and Doug Weight with that same leg pad.

Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla scored in the shootout to give Calgary the victory.

Goals from David Moss, Kristian Huselius, Dion Phaneuf and Daymond Langkow gave the Flames a two-goal lead with about 13 minutes to play in regulation. Blues goaltender Jason Bacashihua made some huge saves or it would have been a blowout.

"It could have been but it's just our luck. It just doesn't seem to bounce our way," said Tanguay, who scored with a high shot in the shootout.

"He played pretty good. I don't think I've played against him before or any of us had seen him before. He's a good goaltender, a young guy just trying to prove himself with (starter Manny) Legace out."

Bacashihua's heroics aside, the late-game collapse is troublesome.

Petr Cajanek parked himself in Kiprusoff's crease and swatted in a momentum-building marker just 22 seconds after Langkow made it a 4-2 game. Then Stempniak tied the game exactly three minutes later when he sidestepped Kiprusoff's pokecheck and deposited the puck in the open net for his second goal of the night.

"They turned it around," said Iginla.

"Probably not the prettiest -- when you're up two goals you want to finish it -- but right now it's a huge two points.

"We're going to take the positive. We always go over things tomorrow but today we found a way to get a big win and a shootout win."

Tanguay said the key is to keep the offensive pressure on despite the score, which seems to be easier said than done.

"We've just got to keep pressing when we take the lead," said Tanguay. "If we let them play in our zone, they're going to get scoring chances.

"We scored four, we could have had another five, but you can't allow four goals against."

Kiprusoff was happy to hear about his milestone but, as usual, wasn't about to gush.

"Winning is always fun so it's nice," he said.


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