Icing on the cake for Joseph

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET


 Curtis Joseph received taunting from the fans on hand and a surprise elbow from Ville Nieminen.

 Not exactly warm wishes from Cowtown.

 But it didn't keep the Detroit Red Wings netminder from skating away with the perfect gift to celebrate his 37th birthday -- a 4-2 win over the host Calgary Flames.

 "Absolutely," said Joseph, when asked if a win in Game 4 was at the top of his birthday wish-list. "I don't mind working on my birthday. It means we're in the second round of the playoffs."

 Thanks in part to Joseph's own play last night, the Red Wings are firmly back into this Western Conference semifinal series.

 His 25-save performance helped them even the series, even if the Flames -- particularly Nieminen -- didn't take it too well.

 Joseph took an elbow from Nieminen with just 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

 "It caught me a little off guard," Joseph said.

 "It just winded me."

 It was certainly easier to take because of the victory.

 It was the 62nd win of his playoff career.

 Two more and he equals the 64 losses to his name. And he'd like to even up his post-season record with wins in Games 5 and 6 to catapult the Reds Wings past the Flames in this best-of-seven series.

 The most important save of Cujo's birthday came just two minutes after he failed to keep the Flames from cashing in twice during a furious 18-second flurry in the second period.

 Tied 2-2 and the Flames fueled with momentum, Joseph slid over and stacked the pads to keep Shean Donovan from scoring on a sweet 2-on-1 feed from linemate Nieminen.

 "The defenceman (Jiri Fischer) made a good slide to allow me to back in far enough," Joseph said.

 "Fortunately, I got over there to make the save. A two-stacker. That's what it's called in road hockey, too."


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