Kiprusoff getting close to 300th victory

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff makes a save against the Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome in...

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff makes a save against the Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Jan. 24, 2012. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:08 AM ET

CALGARY - Miikka Kiprusoff is creeping up on a couple of milestones.

The Calgary Flames backstop needs two more wins to reach 300 — a feat only 26 NHL goaltenders before him have accomplished.

Former San Jose Sharks teammate Evgeni Nabokov reached that plateau earlier in the year, but what’s most impressive in Kiprusoff’s case is he’s had seven seasons as a starter to do it and hasn’t had a whole lot of help in the scoring department from the perennially offensively-challenged Flames.

Although he didn’t get the win Tuesday, the flexible Finn proved again during the 1-0 decision against the Sharks at the Saddledome just how valuable he is to the franchise.

The Sharks weren’t at their offensive best but when they did swarm, he was there to harpoon their hopes until a mad scramble in the third period saw him make two huge saves before Benn Ferriero batted down a high puck in the crease and tapped it in for the 1-0 lead and game-winning goal.

If it’s any consolation, Kiprusoff moved past Glenn Resch on the all-time goalie games played list by suiting up for his 572nd contest — 525 with the Flames, which puts him one behind Mike Vernon on the franchise list.

AGAINST THE GLASS

On his first shift, Flames winger Alex Tanguay reminds us of his creativity, dangling his way backward from deep in the Sharks zone and creating a better angle from which to shoot ... Not often you see a guy drop to block a pass, but Michael Cammalleri did just that in the first period ... Watching the second-period highlights on the big video screen, you had to feel sorry for the boys in the control centre who had to try to find highlights ... After waiting nine minutes to get their first shot on goal in the first and second periods, the Flames got off to a much quicker start in the third, sending one Antti Niemi’s way just 20 seconds in.

IN THE CREASE

The destinations are none of our business but you can bet most, if not all, Flames not named Jarome Iginla — who is headed to the all-star game in Ottawa — or stuck in town for rehab purposes will be on their way to warmer destinations for a few days of rest and relaxation this week. “Relax, maybe put a few pounds on — I’ve lost a few over the course of the season — and kind of regroup for that last push,” said Flames blueliner Chris Butler, who admitted the timing isn’t ideal considering the momentum they’ve gathered recently. “It is tough. There’s people with injuries and people need to heal, and that part of it is nice. But at the same time you’re kinda thinking why couldn’t we have this break a while ago when we had kind of a skid.” ... Some players were open about where they’re headed for those who are curious world travellers themselves. Others prefer their privacy. “I don’t really care where other people go on vacation, or if they go on vacation,” one member of the Flames said while politely declining to talk about his time off.

PARTING SHOTS

Alex Ovechkin’s three-game suspension has some NHLers thinking maybe this justice system works after all. “We should all be treated as equals when it comes to that side of the game,” said Sarich. “It sends a good message that it doesn’t matter who you are, you’ve got to play within the rules. That’s what matters.” Fellow veteran Brendan Morrison agrees. “I don’t know that it’s nice to ever see a guy suspended, but as far as the players are concerned, consistency is the key word,” he said. ... As for Ovechkin’s decision to skip the all-star game because he’s suspended, it’s hard to decipher what he is saying about being a target if he goes to Ottawa, but I don’t blame him for wanting to avoid the circus sure to greet him to talk about the suspension. Only place he’ll really be missed, though, is in the breakaway competition and maybe in the bars ... Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had some good news with regards to defenceman Brent Burns’ health. He missed Tuesday’s game against the Flames but isn’t as badly injured as first thought after a knee-on-knee collision Monday with the Oilers’ Ales Hemsky. “The good news is it’s not a knee. It’s more of a charleyhorse situation,” McLellan said. “Hopefully, when we get through the all-star break, he’s ready again.”


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