Kipper redeems himself

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:07 PM ET


 SAN JOSE -- It's seven.

 Not lucky, though.

 For the seventh time since coming to the Calgary Flames, Miikka Kiprusoff absolutely had to bounce back from surrendering four or more goals.

 For the seventh time, he delivered.

 It only took 19 saves, and required a bit of early luck, but Kiprusoff was perfect when it mattered most in Calgary's 3-0 shutout win over San Jose last night.

 "I try not to think about it too much," said the netminder, who set a franchise record with his fourth shutout of these playoffs. "I think it's also how the whole team plays.

 "We bounce back when we lose and that's the biggest thing."

 It doesn't hurt his teammates have no doubt he'll continue to come through.

 Confidence may be just a buzzword to most but it means everything in the hockey world.

 Especially for netminders.

 Kiprusoff's confidence may have been rattled after being yanked in the last outing -- and he did struggle with the first few shots that came his way last night at the Shark Tank.

 But after all the goalie has done, his teammates can't lose their faith in him.

 "Everyone expects that he's a professional and will bounce back and he showed it again," said Chuck Kobasew, the game's hard hat recipient. "It's nice to know he can do that. He's been such a solid goaltender all year for us."

 After dodging a couple of bullets -- Alexander Korolyuk hit the post and had a dribbler stop just short of the goal line -- Kiprusoff regrouped.

 He did come up with some clutch stops, the biggest an Alyn McCauley chance from the doorstep late in the first and another being Jonathan Cheechoo's wraparound attempt.

 "It was some weird shots," Kiprusoff said. "I was really a little bit lucky there on those first couple shots but after that I felt pretty good."

 Certainly better than Sunday's performance, in which he allowed four goals on 16 shots in only two periods of work before being shown the pine in favour of Roman Turek.

 "It's never fun to get pulled out," Kiprusoff said. "It was bad and I was, when they pulled me, already thinking forward to this game and that's it."

 Now Kiprusoff has the golden chance to wrap up a series that will vault his team to the Stanley Cup final.


Photos