Rest easy! Kipper's back

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff tips the puck over his net last night during Calgary's 2-1...

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff tips the puck over his net last night during Calgary's 2-1 overtime victory against the Blues in St. Louis. (Scott Rovak/QMI AGENCY)

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Making his first appearance since undergoing an emergency appendectomy late last month, St. Louis Blues centre T.J. Oshie was determined to make an impact.

Starting in goal one night after he was too sick to even sit on the bench as a backup, Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff was equally set on keeping the sophomore from making a difference.

Kiprusoff got the best of that battle, and Dion Phaneuf got a piece of the young Blues star, banking his overtime winner in off Oshie to give the Flames a 2-1 win.

"He was great," Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who opened the scoring just a few minutes into the game, said of Kiprusoff's performance. "We didn't know (if he'd play). Yesterday, he had the fever and everything like that -- I don't know if I'm supposed to say that -- but he said he felt better this morning and it was obvious in the game."

Many of Kiprusoff's 30 saves were difficult, and the under-the-weather goaltender gave the Flames a chance to sweep the two-game set.

Matching Curtis McElhinney's impressive showing Wednesday in their win over Dallas while he stayed warm in the locker-room in case of emergency, Kiprusoff stuck out his pads, flashed a quick glove hand and even stabbed a puck down with a shoulder shrug as he helped extend the Blues' goal drought until the later stages of the game.

He rejected a feisty Oshie on his doorstep on back-to-back charges as the 22-year-old fought his way past a few Flames to get in tight in the second period.

But it wasn't just Oshie feeling the rejection. Kiprusoff stoned the likes of Paul Kariya, Brad Boyes, Erik Johnson and Keith Tkachuk without prejudice.

"I'm alright," Kiprusoff shrugged afterward. (It was just) a little cold."

He spent the last 24 hours sleeping and hydrating, but knew earlier in the day he'd be good to go against the Blues.

"You know, you feel sick you just try to rest. Try to eat a lot, and drink," he said, admitting he got a little tired in the third period as the Blues pushed for the tying goal -- a tip-in on the powerplay by Danish rookie Lars Eller for his first tally in his debut NHL game.

"This morning, I skated and felt alright."

Leaving the rink without skating in Dallas Wednesday morning, Kiprusoff said he started feeling a little sick a couple of days before.

"Usually, you can play through those things," he said. "I didn't feel strong enough to play. It was good we had Mac (McElhinney) there ready to go and did a great job."

Taking four points in the two road games after dropping their last two at home was a breakthrough of sorts for the Flames.

Their captain scored three times, including an entertaining one 3:34 into the game last night.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos