Kipper slams door again

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:03 PM ET


 Most of the Detroit Red Wings are considered hockey heroes.

 But zeroes counted most in their playoff elimination by the Calgary Flames.

 In particular, consecutive shutouts in Games 5 and 6 posted by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff forced the Red Wings' second-round exit and established a Flames' playoff record: Never before has a Flames goalie pitched back-to-back shutouts.

 "That's nice," said Kiprusoff, who made 38 saves in last night's 1-0 overtime win in Game 6 to record his eighth win of these NHL playoffs and clinch the series for the Flames.

 "I have no clue (how I did it). It's our team -- that's how we play. We don't give too many chances, like (last night) we played a great game again. After the first period, I think we took over a little bit and I think we had the better scoring chances."

 Indeed, the Red Wings' chances were few and far between. Kris Draper had the best chance to force a Game 7, when his shot with less than five minutes remaining in regulation eluded Kiprusoff and just dribbled wide of the post.

 "It was a weird shot and it almost went in but I was lucky," Kiprusoff said. "I heard people start screaming, so I knew something was wrong. And I saw it was behind me."

 The team's shutout streak has now stretched 139 minutes 37 seconds since Henrik Zetterberg scored into an empty net for insurance in the Wings' 4-2 win in Game 4 at the Saddledome.

 Kiprusoff has not allowed a goal in 149:11 when Mathieu Dandenault poked home the Game 4 winner.

 Mike Vernon had two shutouts for the Flames in the same series against the Vancouver Canucks during their 1989 Stanley Cup run. He won Games 3 and 5, both by 4-0 counts, in the opening round of those playoffs.

 For Kiprusoff, it was his third shutout of the playoffs, equalling the club mark set by Vernon during the '89 post-season.

 Vernon's first of those playoffs came in a 3-0 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks to kick-start the Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference final series.

 Kiprusoff started his run to match Vernon with a shutout over the Canucks in Game 4 of the first-round series. He made 20 saves in the 4-0 win at the Saddledome.

 And in Game 6 Saturday afternoon in Detroit, Kiprusoff turned aside all 31 shots fired at him by the Red Wings for a 1-0 victory.

 "I can't give enough credit to the defence and even the forwards like Stephane Yelle," Kiprusoff added. "The last two games he's probably had 30 saves, too. Same with (Chuck) Kobasew and so many other guys blocking shots."


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