SUN Hockey Pool

Kipper bounces back with super saves

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

The way Craig Conroy sees it, Miikka Kiprusoff showed early he'd be on form against the Detroit Red Wings last night.

A solid 30 hours before the puck dropped.

"I was watching Miikka in practice (Monday morning) and he was shutting the door on everybody," Conroy said of the Calgary Flames goaltender. "That's when you have a sense he's challenging himself and when he goes out there in the game, you can sense he's got it."

Kiprusoff proved last night against the Wings he's still got it.

A few nights after a sub-par performance against the Minnesota Wild, in which he surrendered a stoppable game-winner in the third period, Kiprusoff was back to star form in last night's crucial 2-1 victory.

He made 30 saves, including 10 in the final period when the Wings were pushing for the equalizer.

Exactly the kind of performance Conroy was expecting after watching the netminder prepare himself for a bounce-back effort.

"I saw him after the game last game and he was (PO'ed), and, you know what, it's a good sign when he's not happy," Conroy said. "You don't see much emotion from him but when you do, you know he's gonna come back.

"And it's a good sign for the rest of us."

Kiprusoff -- whose bounce-back performances during his first season with the Flames, especially in the playoffs, became nearly legendary -- dismissed the theory he was dialed in that much more because of his previous outing.

"You try to learn from the games but it's always a new day and new game," he said. "Of course, I'd like to be better and felt pretty good but it was all 20 players today."

Besides, he pointed out, the shots on goal didn't tell the tale. He didn't consider those 31 shots to be loaded with great scoring chances.

"Lots of those shots, they were outside. The defence played well and the forwards came back, so then it's tough to play against us," Kiprusoff said.

"We outworked them tonight and that's what we have to do against every team in this league. That's our style of play."


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