SUN Hockey Pool

Kipper kept Flames in it

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The only member of the Calgary Flames able to crack a smile in the locker-room was Miikka Kiprusoff.

He's also the only one who was happy about stealing a single point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Kiprusoff earned that right after stopping 37 of 40 shots.

"He's awesome. He's exceptional. First period, he made saves that goalies shouldn't, that aren't supposed to, and gave us a great chance to get out to a lead and win a hockey game," said winger Michael Cammalleri, whose first response was unprintable but added extra enthusiasm for his goaltender. "Can't ask any more from him."

That's for sure.

Although Scott Niedermayer will be known as the hero in the Ducks' ninth straight victory over the Flames on home ice with his two goals, including the OT winner 55 seconds into extra time, it was Kiprusoff who stole the show.

"If it wasn't for Miikka Kiprusoff -- who I thought was outstanding throughout the night -- it probably wouldn't even have gone into overtime in terms of chances to score they had compared to us," said head coach Mike Keenan.

Those kind of reviews came from all corners of the Flames room.

"Kipper was huge for us all night," said defenceman Dion Phaneuf, who watched the winner go into the top corner off his stick as he tried to check Niedermayer on the rush during three-on-three action.

"He made some big, big saves. It's definitely a disappointing loss."

Disappointing for many reasons.

The powerplay faltered again, getting nothing out of four opportunities.

A lack of discipline led to three obstruction penalties in the final frame, giving the Ducks even more momentum in a game they appeared to need none.

And twice giving up leads after goals from Todd Bertuzzi and Curtis Glencross hurt as much as being unable to back up their backstop by shutting things down to protect their advantages.

"It was a tough one. I guess we have to be happy we get one point, but still, we didn't play our best game," said Kiprusoff, taking a few minutes to switch to English during a long talk with a Finnish reporter who made the trip from his own hometown of Turku.

"We gave up a couple too many chances to win."

But the opportunity was there to steal one and end what is now a nine-game losing streak in the so-called 'Happiest Place on Earth.'

Bertuzzi gave the Flames a 1-0 lead just 2:55 into the game.

Scott Niedermayer's first goal tied things up on the powerplay midway though the second period, but Glencross put the Flames ahead again late in the frame with a perfect snapshot over Giguere's shoulder.

Impressive saves coming from Kiprusoff in waves weren't enough to keep the Ducks at bay and they got to him again early in the third period when some strong work on the boards by Ryan Getzlaf set up Brendan Morrison inside the faceoff circle.

He sniped a wristshot past Kiprusoff to tie things up 2:05 in.


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