SUN Hockey Pool

Iginla nets OT winner

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- In a battle that featured two of the NHL's iron men of the iron posts, Miikka Kiprusoff outbattled former teammate Evgeni Nabokov.

And the Calgary Flames won the game 3-2 in overtime last night.

The Flames netminder faced 14 shots in the first period. Another 13 in the second. And, as one radio personality joked in the press box after 40 minutes, about 25 scoring chances among those first 27 offerings.

Trailing 2-1 in the second period, the host San Jose Sharks began to take over the play, imposing their will along the boards and wearing the weary visitors down with a physical attack.

But Kiprusoff and captain Jarome Iginla combined to give the Flames an unlikely victory in front of 17,496 at the HP Pavilion.

Iginla scored a pair, including the overtime winner with 1:34 left on the clock to help the Flames outlast the Sharks in a 3-2 decision.

Kiprusoff looked spry in his 41st start of the season, coming off a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers a night earlier in Calgary.

Nabokov's 40th start -- he's the only goaltender to start every one of his team's games so far this season -- wasn't as hectic as he faced just 20 shots on the night.

Nabokov's night started suspiciously. Maybe he didn't expect Alex Tanguay to shoot. Maybe he just noticed who the passing option was and dug in with the left foot to prepare himself for a cross-crease slide to stop Iginla.

Either way, Nabokov lost when Tanguay glided in from the right wing and snapped the puck past the Sharks iron man on the far side to grab an early 1-0 lead a minute into the game.

The Sharks drew even on the powerplay soon after. With Matthew Lombardi in the bin for his hook on Jonathan Cheechoo, Torrey Mitchell pounced on a rebound in front after Christian Ehrhoff's point shot got past the Flames defenders and a challenging Kiprusoff.

With a strong push forward by Kristian Huselius, Daymond Langkow and Iginla, the Flames regained control before time was up in the first period.

Huselius did his best to split Sharks defenders Kyle McLaren and Ehrhoff but was pinballed off their bigger bodies and crashed to the ice.

The puck scooted forward, though, and Langkow was the first to get to it. Crossing with Iginla at the goal-mouth, he dropped a pass to his captain and watched as Iginla swatted it through the legs of a desperately backchecking Marcel Goc and Nabokov.

The Sharks beat Kiprusoff on a long point-shot with a screen set up in front to make it 2-2 in the second period. Craig Rivet's blast found the top corner after Jeremy Roenick's hit on Daymond Langkow sprung the puck loose from the boards and gave the defenceman a lane.

But Kiprusoff was unbeatable in the third and forced extra time, where Iginla made sure his netminder's efforts didn't go to waste.


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