SUN Hockey Pool

Talk about trifecta!

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

If Miikka Kiprusoff and Peter Budaj were trying to settle a bet, they didn't solve much in the early going.

Part of the problem was the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche goaltenders were tough to solve.

It took a third-period goal from Curtis Glencross, his first as a Flame, to open the floodgates and end the scoring drought to spark the Flames to a 3-0 victory, extending their winning streak to four games while snuffing the Avs' at five.

Kiprusoff earned his first shutout of the season.

Posting nearly identical stats last week to set up a showdown between two of the league's hottest netminders -- and teams -- Budaj took the NHL's second-star honours, while Kiprusoff settled for the praise of his teammates for a three-game winning streak that saw him post a goals-against average of 1.67 and a save percentage of .946.

Budaj had a slightly better GAA of 1.62 and a .941 save percentage while backstopping the Avs to a perfect 3-0 record last week.

Little was decided after 40 minutes of play in the head-to-head battle of Northwest Division rivals last night.

There were plenty of scoring chances, especially in the first period.

Some were turned away by the goaltenders, others were the type that will haunt a couple of poor young souls for a night or two.

Dustin Boyd tapped a puck wide in the early going, and was staring at the Enmax Energy Board in disbelief at the same time as linemate Glencross watched the replay of his collision with Budaj to earn a two-minute minor and set the Avs up for a chance to draw first blood.

They couldn't, as Kiprusoff continued to give the Saddedome's Sea of Red confidence with his solid play.

Robbing Paul Stastny with a perfect cross-crease read in the first period, Kiprusoff's best effort may have been his quick reaction with the cushions as Joe Sakic stormed through the defence in the second period to snap a couple of quick ones on the Finn.

Budaj was sharp on a couple of first-period blasts from Michael Cammalleri and Adrian Aucoin, and kept David Moss' quick attempt at the post from sneaking in the short side.

Eric Nystrom actually had the best chance to score on an Avs powerplay in the opening period.

Set up with a perfect saucer-pass from Boyd, Nystrom chopped his effort wide as well.

Cammalleri also blasted a shot wide from the doorstep in the second, sneaking to within six feet of the goal-line but slapping the wobbling puck a couple feet wide.

The iron also played a role in the shutout bid for both backstops.

Ian Laperriere rang one off the post behind Kiprusoff, and defenceman Brett Clark did the same later.

Rene Bourque cranked one off the metal as Budaj breathed a sigh of relief.

The potential for a double-shutout ended at 8:22 of the third when Glencross capitalized on Moss and Conroy's hard work behind the net. Moss dished a blind backhand pass through the blue paint and Glencross was on the spot to earn his first goal as a Flame.

Bourque made it 2-0 a few minutes later with a nifty dash to tuck the puck inside the post, and Cammalleri made up for his earlier miss by taking a pass in the high slot from Bourque and ripping it past Budaj to seal it.


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