Kipper sharp in ho-hum road win

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

DENVER -- During a break in the action late in the second period, the kiss cam zooms in on two beautiful women in the stands.

One says no way, the other encourages her to lean in for a peck.

Just as they are about to connect and delight the Pepsi Center crowd, a Calgary Flames fan jumps up in front of them and proudly shows off his red jersey full frame on the big screen, blocking the view of the pivotal moment.

It was a tough night for the Colorado Avalanche faithful, who felt just as robbed at the final buzzer as the Flames skated away with a 1-0 victory last night to sweep the home-and-home set between the Northwest Division rivals.

Frantically trying to tie the game in the final minutes with the goalie pulled, the Avs came close.

But Miikka Kiprusoff and his pals came through during the scramble to keep the puck out of the net for the shutout.

"The puck was already behind me. I think it was our players fighting for the puck there," said Kiprusoff.

"I was just laying there and somebody hit my chest, there, too. You have to be a bit lucky sometimes."

It was Kiprusoff's second goose egg of the year, both against the Avs.

The win wasn't as pretty as the pair of gals who almost stole the spotlight, but the recipe for winning on the road is rarely flashy. It took a rebound goal by Daymond Langkow to break a scoreless tie just past the midway mark.

Mark Giordano made a nice juke to sidestep Avalanche centre Paul Stastny at the blueline and move a little closer before teeing up a slapper. The puck came right to Langkow parked in front of the net, and he quickly pushed it past a diving Peter Budaj.

"Budaj's been tough the past couple of games," said Langkow, whose team threw another 33 shots at the goaltender after pelting him with 50 in Tuesday's 4-1 win at the Saddledome.

"We got a lot of shots and he's been stellar, so it was good to get on the board.

I thought we played pretty well with the lead.

"Tonight could have gone either way. Even though we had more shots, they had some good chances."

Kiprusoff faced just 18 shots, but he had to be sharp to keep his bid for a second shutout of the season alive early.

He turned away Marek Svatos on a breakaway, and made a good stop on Ryan Smyth in the first period on a couple of bad line changes by the Flames. The visitors got better from there, dominating in the faceoff dot and generally controlling the play until late in the third period, but it wasn't a spectacular outing.

Far be it for the Flames or their fans to complain about how they pulled it off to snap a four-game losing skid on the road.

"We didn't have the greatest jump or the greatest legs," said winger Michael Cammalleri.

"I don't think it was a spectacular brand of hockey we had to play to win tonight. It's just a humble way of trying to get a win on the road."


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