Isles Park host Flames

STEVE MACFARLANE, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

The score wasn't what anyone would have predicted with two star goaltenders going head to head.

It was a battle, though, especially for the New York Islanders' Rick DiPietro.

The Isles netminder was under siege and allowed four goals, but still played the key role in a 5-4 shootout win over Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.

The Flames ripped 42 shots at him in regulation with minimal success, then were shut down in the shootout to clinch it.

DiPietro let the first attempt by Kristian Huselius get past him, but stopped similar moves from Jarome Iginla and Owen Nolan to steal two points for his team.

Nothing new to Islanders head coach Ted Nolan.

"The people here in the West -- we don't get to see Kiprusoff too often, we don't get to see (Roberto) Luongo too often -- they don't get to see our big guy, and that's DiPietro," said Nolan.

"That's why he's going to the all-star game, that's why we're in the position we're in right now, because of his play. He keeps us in every game."

Starting strong after a disappointing performance Tuesday night against the Coyotes, the Flames tested DiPietro early.

He turned away a flurry from Iginla, who looked charged up from the drop of the puck and took a half-dozen shots in the first period alone, and staved a couple of strong efforts from Alex Tanguay as well.

"He played well. I thought we had a lot of chances, especially in the first period," said Iginla, who somehow found his side down 3-1 heading into the the second period. "He kept them in there."

Mike Sillinger opened the scoring on a breakaway and added a second goal before the intermission. Trent Hunter also tallied 17 seconds after Owen Nolan got the Flames on the board.

Instead of hanging their heads, they came out just as strong to start the second and quickly found themselves locked in a tie.

Scoring his second of the game, Nolan tapped a perfect saucer pass from Alex Tanguay past DiPietro at 1:01, and Dion Phaneuf's blast from the point was deflected by Craig Conroy in front less than a minute later.

Later in the period, they took the lead for the first time on Dustin Boyd's fourth of the season.

But Ruslan Fedotenko -- a Flames-killer in the 2004 Stanley Cup final with the Tampa Bay Lightning -- squared things at four apiece with a couple of minutes to go in the second period.

Sillinger ended up beating Kiprusoff three times on the night, including a shootout goal capped off with the same move that beat the Flames netminder on his first-period breakaway.

After Iginla failed on his attempt, Richard Park gave the Islanders a 2-1 edge in the shootout, banking the puck in off Kiprusoff's pad and the post after a quivering fake on the way in. Nolan had a chance to tie it but was rejected when he tried the same shot at the five-hole as Iginla.

And while a stronger night from Kiprusoff might have helped them avoid extra time altogether, a powerplay late in regulation that spanned more than three minutes went for naught.

"With four or five minutes left, it was pretty crucial," said Craig Conroy.

Again, you have to give credit to DiPietro.

"I looked at it. We had three good chances to score," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan of the powerplay opportunity. "He's a very athletic goaltender. He picks up a lot of points for them."

The bench boss was equally disappointed in his goalie's play, pointing out the lopsided shot total that saw Kiprusoff face just 25.

"That in itself is a statement," said Keenan.


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