Masking his excitement

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

BUFFALO -- As much as Miikka Kiprusoff wants to try out his new mask, he couldn't last night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Not with a winning streak on the go and not while he's been playing so well.

"I can't use it," the Flames goalie said, almost wistfully yesterday.

Instead, Kiprusoff used the mask he's been sporting the last few weeks, which has an homage to the team's 30th anniversary season.

However, he'll soon be donning the new mask featuring his trademark skulls, with a special one on the chin, as well as 'Kipper 34' on the side.

"It's pretty cool isn't it?" Kiprusoff said.

He's been awaiting the new mask after sending one back he felt was too brown.

"He's jealous of mine," joked backup goalie Curtis McElhinney. "What's he gonna do when he compares his masks to mine?

"Actually, his new one is pretty nice."

Considering the Flames play again tonight in Toronto, it's possible McElhinney will be between the pipes against the Maple Leafs, but head coach Brent Sutter wouldn't tip his hand.

Who's got tickets?

Since trips out to Eastern Canada happen only once a year, and visits to the Eastern U.S. are even more rare, it can be a battle to get enough tickets for friends and family.

The list in the Flames dressing room noting friends and family allowed in the meet and greet area was a long one.

"Conny, you've got 60 people on the list. It's like Cammy," Dion Phaneuf yelled, referring to Mike Cammalleri's visit to Toronto last season, as Craig Conroy was jotting down his names.

Conroy wasn't alone.

Brandon Prust expected about a half-dozen friends last night and a dozen tonight in Toronto -- the first there for the London, Ont., product.

"I got traded right before we played there," said Prust, who was shipped to Phoenix at the deadline last year.

Mark Giordano expected about 15 last night and around 40 in Toronto, which will be his first game back since his rookie season, 2006-07, when he scored his first two NHL goals in a 5-4 overtime loss.

"A lot of people will get their own tickets and show up without me even knowing," he said.

Eric Nystrom was also able to play in front of his father, Bob Nystrom, who made the trip from New York City.

He was also thrilled to see his mom, Michele.

"She could be a certified pro scout," Nystrom said. "She's seen enough hockey."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

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THREE STARS

AS CHOSEN BY SUN MEDIA

1

MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF, FLAMES

Continues to be strong between the pipes.

2

DEREK ROY, SABRES

Scored, dominated faceoffs, led all shooters and scored.

3

RYAN MILLER, SABRES

Showed why he's a league-leader in all kinds of goalie categories.


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