Kipper's Mr. Game 5

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 3:25 PM ET


 TAMPA -- Jarome Iginla knows how to put his name on a game. So does Martin Gelinas. But the registered rightsholder for Game 5 is Miikka Kiprusoff.

 In every single series the Calgary Flames have played this Stanley Cup season, they've ended up tied 2-2 after the first four games. And in every one of them, Kiprusoff was the star of Game 5.

 BRILLIANCE

 The fabulous Finn was brilliant in Game 5 in the first round against Vancouver, giving up one goal. He shut out the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5. He shutout his old San Jose Shark teammates in Game 5. All three games were on the road.

 Tonight is Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

 "It's huge again like every game," said Kiprusoff before leaving Calgary and heading here, where coach Darryl Sutter cut off access to his players yesterday.

 Sutter, in his press conference, did talk about his goaltender.

 "Every game we win, our goaltender is a big part of it," said Sutter. "I think it goes without saying that the biggest reason we're here, the biggest reason we became a playoff team was because of him.

 "In a lot of ways he doesn't get enough credit because he doesn't like to talk to you guys and doesn't beat his own drum at all.

 "In the big moment he's the guy who has got us through it all."

 Not that Kiprusoff's counterpart on the Tampa Bay Lightning has been so shabby in Game 5 either.

 "He's a pro," said Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella here yesterday of Nikolai Khabibulin.

 "He's a world-class goalie. We wouldn't be here if he hadn't done the things he needed to do this year."

 ONLY PLAYED TWO

 The only reason Khabibulin isn't 3-0 in Game 5s too is that he's only played two. The Lightning swept their series against the Montreal Canadiens. But his Game 5s were 3-2 and 5-4 games.

 In this series, Kiprusoff registered his fifth shutout of the playoffs in Game 3 and Khabibulin blanked the Flames in Game 4.

 Khabibulin has put up a goals-against average of 1.72 with a save percentage of .934. Kirpusoff's goals-against average is 1.83 with a save percentage of .931.

 But the number which may be the most relevant is that we're four games into this final and Kiprusoff has held the high-scoring Lightning to a mere six goals.


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