Shooters right on target

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Up until a month ago, the Calgary Flames couldn't seem to win a shootout.

Now, they can't be beat.

After losing the first five games of the season that went to a showdown for the extra point, the Flames are on a three-game winning streak, extended by last night's 1-0 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild.

"It's a complete turnaround for us," said Alex Tanguay, who scored on the first chance for either team last night.

"We couldn't score before, and Kipper (Miikka Kiprusoff) is now making every save and we're finding a way to score.

"Those points are huge, especially in the race we're in."

The Flames have beaten the Wild twice in their run.

Curiously, the Wild twice downed Calgary in shootouts earlier this season. Last night's win was also Calgary's first on the road this year.

"Part of it is confidence and Kipper has been stellar in the shootouts," said Iginla, the other marksman last night.

"Earlier in the year, I thought as a team we had some good moves, Tangs (Tanguay) and Juice (Kristian Huselius), and they weren't going in. They're going in now."

Tanguay set the stage last night by snapping a blocker-side shot by Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and Calgary's confidence was palpable.

Kiprusoff denied Pavol Demitra, faking a couple of pokechecks before closing the five-hole for the save.

Iginla fired a blocker-side shot into the goal and Brian Rolston couldn't return the favour.

"It's always nice in the shootout to take the lead," Tanguay said. "I don't know what the exact percentage is but I would say it's probably 70-30 the save ratio to goals, so the goalie's got the advantage. When you take the lead, it puts on a little more pressure. It's a lot tougher to shoot second when the other guy has put the puck in the net."


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