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  1. #1
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    Flames Grind for the Playoffs

    Well the deadline is over, we're sitting in the cluster **** Western Conference, currently in the playoffs. The grind for the playoffs officially begins tomorrow in St. Louis. This will be the thread where we can discuss the games, the looming schedule, and the battle for the playoffs.

  2. #2
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    Best of luck to you guys. Grind is right, it is pretty cramped in the conference right now.

  3. #3
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    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=356083

    ST. LOUIS -- Before running into Miikka Kiprusoff, the St. Louis Blues hadn't been shut out in an 110 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NHL.

    Two days later, Kiprusoff stonewalled them again.

    Kiprusoff stopped 25 shots for his second consecutive shutout and sixth of the season, benefiting from strong defence and holding on before a five-goal third period outburst in the Calgary Flames' 6-0 victory on Tuesday night.

    "He was great both games," said Jarome Iginla, who had two goals and an assist. "In the second period they had some good chances and it was anybody's game at that point."

    Iginla's line totalled nine points, with Alex Tanguay getting a goal and two assists and Brendan Morrison adding three assists. The Flames finished 3-0 against the Blues, outscoring them 11-1, and have won eight of the last 10 in St. Louis.

    Forward Alex Steen said it was "fair to say" that the Blues gave up.

    "It's an immature way of playing the third period," Steen said. "I thought for sure even when they got that second one, we were still right there and it just deflates us."

    Making his 17th consecutive start, Kiprusoff made a one-goal lead stand up just as he did in a 1-0 victory Sunday in Calgary while waiting for more offence. He hasn't allowed the Blues to score in 132 minutes and 11 seconds, and has 40 career shutouts.

    Kiprusoff allowed one goal on 81 shots against St. Louis for the season, a minuscule .034 goals-against average. He's 18-5-2 for his career against the Blues.

    The Blues threatened several times, but were often stymied by shots that either couldn't make it to the net or sailed wide. St. Louis had 27 shots in the loss at Calgary.

    The Flames totalled 24 blocked shots, 16 more than the Blues, and one fewer than Kiprusoff's save total.

    "Some games they have more saves than I do," Kiprusoff said. "It's huge when the forwards block the shots."
    That's a big showing from the captain tonight. Another big win against a team we should beat. Kipper is playing good. Now comes March, where we always run out of gas.

  4. #4
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    Are you guys trying to kill Kipper?

  5. #5
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    Kipper is a horse. Since the lockout, he's played over 73 games every year. And its only the fact that there's so many teams in the playoff race, that one loss or not getting that OT point really hurts. It's essentially been playoff hockey for the last month. He has to play every game, especially the way he's been playing since new years. Karlsson is a good backup though he's played pretty good for the most part.

  6. #6
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    http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=...navid=sb:recap

    CHICAGO -- Not even a dicey and somewhat forgettable third period could stop the Chicago Blackhawks from finding that winning formula again. The swagger has returned in the Windy City as the defending Stanley Cup champs begin to resemble the confident team we all remember from last June.

    Behind another two goals from their ridiculously hot captain Jonathan Toews, the Hawks held on to for their season-high sixth straight victory, beating Calgary by a 6-4 margin at the United Center that should have been much bigger but didn't need to be. Chicago moved into fourth place in the Western Conference after being in 11th just a couple of weeks ago. Calgary dropped one spot into sixth.

    "We're scoring goals, we're making plays and we're putting the other team on their heels early in games," Toews said after reaching 25 goals for the season. "But, again, it's unfortunate that we let a team like that back in the game. We know they're going to come hard in the third period and that's the big issue we see in our game right now. It's right there. We know how to fix it."

    Chicago had a three-goal lead entering the third period, but Calgary whittled it down to just one by the 8:44 mark of the period thanks to goals from Rene Bourque and Jarome Iginla. Hawks center Dave Bolland gave the energetic, loud crowd a chance to breathe a sigh of relief with a wicked one-timer goal from the right circle with 9:11 left to bring the lead back up to two, but Calgary still wouldn't go away.

    Bourque scored again, this time off a long rebound from the left circle with 3:56 left in regulation. The crowd of 20,896 groaned as the Flames took a timeout with 1:14 to play and came out of it with six skaters. They made the Hawks dizzy by holding the puck in the zone for nearly 30 seconds, but Marian Hossa scored into the empty net with 39 seconds left to seal it.

    It was Hossa's fifth straight game with a goal, but it capped the second straight game in which the Blackhawks nearly gave up a three-goal lead in the third period. Minnesota scored twice in the third Monday night before Hossa's shorthanded marker with under two minutes left gave the Hawks a 4-2 win.
    That's a tough loss, especially after scoring three in the third and not being able to win it. The Hawks are playing good and we're playing back to back on the road. Hopefully Iginla keeps up his play. We're a way better team when he's scoring, and we're not relying on guys like Jackman and Hagman picking up the slack.

    Can't lose two in a row, must win next game.

  7. #7
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    http://www.calgaryflames.com/club/news.htm?id=554866

    The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Hawks
    Five key elements from the Flames-Hawks tilt
    Wednesday, 02.03.2011 / 9:30 PM / News By Torie Peterson


    TAKEAWAY ONE: Faltering in the first
    After an unbelievable third period against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, many assumed the Flames would come out with that kind of jump against the surging Chicago Blackhawks. That wasn't the case.

    The Flames were lucky to escape the first period down by a single goal after the Blackhawks managed to hem them inside their own zone for a large portion of the period. Both Chicago goals occurred after sloppy defensive plays, something head coach Brent Sutter specified as something the needed to avoid at all costs at the Flames morning skate.

    "When you become a better defensive team, you become a better road team," he stated. "It all goes hand in hand. You play well defensively, and everyone makes that commitment defensively to do it the right way, you'll create offence off that."

    TAKEAWAY TWO: Slick six

    Alex Tanguay added to his goal total during his hot streak with a power play marker in the first period. The 31 year-old is riding a six-game point streak with three goals and nine points in that span.

    His howitzer of a shot has been crucial in the Flames power play success and that's exactly how he scored his 18th of the year. Taking a pass from Iginla, Tanguay sent a blast through a crowd and netminder Corey Crawford didn't see the puck until it was in his net.

    Iginla also built on his red-hot play, earning his second straight three-point outing. The captain had a goal and two assists in the loss.

    TAKEAWAY THREE: Close calls

    Not only did the Hawks push the score to 4-1 in the second period, they also kept the Flames doctors busy.

    Midway through the second period, Niklas Hagman weaved his way through the neutral zone, spinning around a Hawk before attempting to deposit the puck into the offensive zone. Unfortunately, his head was down as he spun and he didn't see the freight train known as Troy Brouwer coming.

    The Hawks forward sent Hagman sprawling to ice, landing hard on his left side. He immediately got to his feet and went to the locker room.

    Mark Giordano was leveled from behind by defenceman Keith Seabrook while the Flames were on the power play later in the period. The momentum of the hit sent Giordano's head heard into the boards. He was shaken up and needed to head to the locker room to get his bearings.

    Giordano's defence partner Cory Sarich also needed repairs after taking a skate blade to cheek.

    Hagman, Giordano and Sarich all returned in the game but pivot Brendan Morrison took a hard hit late in the third period and left the tilt with a lower body injury.

    TAKEAWAY FOUR: Captain clutch

    Jonathan Toews has been the main reason his team has squeezed themselves back into the playoff picture. Toews has been a torrid streak since late January and was named the NHL's first star in the month of February when he amassed 21 points (6 g, 15 a) in 28 days.

    He kept that pace rolling against the Flames, scoring twice in the Chicago win. Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, Toews was dangerous during every shift he had. He not only produced on the scoresheet, he generated chances and played an incredibly solid defensive game.

    TAKEAWAY FIVE: Back-to-back broken

    Until Wednesday, the Flames had won three consecutive back-to-back series dating back to Dec. 31-Jan. 1 when they defeated divisional rivals, the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers.

    The Flames will need to get their groove back in back-to-back scenarios as they play two more sets in the month of March. All four tilts are against teams chasing Western Conference playoff positions: the Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

    "We've got to approach back-to-backs the same way we would any other game," Giordano said prior to leaving on their two-game road swing. "We can't worry about fatigue or anything. We're battling for our lives."

  8. #8
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    dp
    Last edited by statquo; 03-03-2011 at 05:31 AM. Reason: double post

  9. #9
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    I think they might have enough to slide in. Depends on LA, Anaheim, Minnesota, and Nashville. Those are the teams to me fighting for the 6-8 spots.

    Rachel Zane: You're a sneaky little boy.

  10. #10
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    http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2010020971

    Miikka Kiprusoff has made 37 saves before. Stopping a pair of penalty shots in the same game -- now that's something new.

    Kiprusoff became the first goalie in 25 years to stop two penalty shots in one night as he helped the Calgary Flames jump to fifth in the West by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Friday night.

    "He gives us a chance to win every night," said center Olli Jokinen, who had a goal and an assist. "You can see how focused he is every day. He's the biggest reason we've been winning games."

    Kiprusoff's 19th consecutive start was one for the record books. He denied penalty shots by Matt Calvert in the second period and Antoine Vermette in the third. It's the first time a goalie has stopped two penalty shots in the same game since Detroit's Corrado Micalef stopped Pierre Larouche and Mike Ridley of the New York Rangers on Feb. 16, 1986. The Rangers won that game 3-1.

    "There's nothing you can do," said Kiprusoff in regards to the rare occurrence. "You just have to make sure you stop it."

    The Jackets have been denied on three penalty shots in the last two nights and four in a week.

    "That's definitely not history you want to be a part of," Calvert said. "He got me on that one. I was trying to go shelf and trying to get him to move, but he read it pretty good and stayed in one spot and I didn't have much to shoot at."

    Curtis Glencross had a goal and two assists and Rene Bourque had a goal and an assist for Calgary, while captain Jarome Iginla scored his 29th goal of the season -- leaving him one short of becoming the 10th player in NHL history to reach the 30-goal mark in 10 or more seasons.

    But the talk of the Flames locker room was Kiprusoff.

    "He made two great saves on two penalty shots," Glencross said. "Kipper stuck in there for us and played another great game."

    Vermette had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (31-26-7), who have lost four straight games and are 12th in the West, six points behind eighth-place Dallas. Craig Rivet and Jan Hejda also scored, while Jakub Voracek had two assists.

    The Jackets trailed 4-2 after two periods but outshot the Flames 16-4 in the final 20 minutes.

    "If you're going to try and make it to the next level and get to the playoffs, you have to find a way to beat these guys and we had more than our share of opportunities to equal that game tonight," coach Scott Arniel said. "We peppered them pretty good in the third."

    Vermette swatted a rebound past Kiprusoff to tie the game 2-2 at 1:53 of the second before taking a double minor for high sticking Flames forward David Moss that proved costly.

    "Obviously, it's an accident," Vermette said. "This time of year, it makes a difference -- penalty killing and power play -- and they capitalized on that."

    After Bourque backhanded a rebound past Mason to put Calgary up 3-2, Glencross tipped in a point shot by Anton Babchuk to give the Flames two power-play goals in 81 seconds.

    "That's the ultimate goal when you get a four-minute power play, try to get one in the first half so you can have another second chance," Glencross said. "We were lucky enough to get two out of it."

    Calvert was awarded his penalty when he was hauled down from behind by Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano, but Kiprusoff made a blocker save to keep the Flames up by a pair heading to the third.

    Columbus made it 4-3 at 6:43 when Hejda blasted a point shot through traffic into the top corner behind Kiprusoff. Vermette had a chance to tie the game when he was awarded his penalty shot after Babchuk was ruled to have thrown his stick trying to break up the play, much to the dismay of the Calgary players, coaching staff and hometown fans.

    "I don't think they were too happy about that call, but after it's made there's nothing you can do about it," said Kiprusoff, who made a save with his left arm to thwart Vermette's opportunity. "The only thing is try to stop it and I'm happy I was able to do it tonight."

    Kipper played great today. We ran their show in the second, but slowly let it slide back to them in the third. We were still the better team. Good to see Iginla keep it rolling. Also Glencross has really grown on me. Glencross Jokinen and Moss are playing real good and have shown to be pretty effective shutting down top lines on other teams.

    I must say, I was pretty upset to see the Ducks take that Stars game to OT so both teams got at least a point.

  11. #11
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    http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=310306003

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Jarome Iginla reached a milestone in an unlikely way.

    Iginla scored on a penalty early in the second period to become the 10th NHL player to reach 30 goals in 10 straight seasons
    , helping the Flames beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Sunday night.

    "I never dreamt it would be on a penalty shot," Iginla said. "I've had a few of them in front of the fans here at home and I haven't put any penalty shots in at home until that, so that was a treat for me."

    Mike Gartner and Jaromir Jagr share the record with 15 consecutive 30-goal seasons.

    "I definitely feel extremely blessed to hit that and be able to do it 10 years," Iginla said. "It's something that when I started out, I never would have dreamt that."

    The 33-year-old Iginla has 471 NHL goals, two behind Denis Savard and Alex Mogilny for 49th place.

    Iginla was awarded the penalty shot when he was tugged from behind by Sergei Kostitsyn on a breakaway on Pekka Rinne. On the penalty shot, Iginla slid the puck through Rinne's legs to tie it at 2.

    "I thought that I had it, but he's a good goal scorer for a reason and he put it through me and it was a big goal at the time, for sure," Rinne said.

    Curtis Glencross broke the tie midway through the third, jamming in a rebound off Rene Bourque's shot.

    "We kept trying to get pucks and bodies to the net as much as we could all night," Glencross. "Olli [Jokinen] tried to put it out front and it was sitting there for me and I had an open net."

    Mark Giordano had a power-play goal in the first, Jokinen had two assists and Miikka Kiprusoff made 21 saves for Calgary. The Flames, fifth in the Western Conference, are 15-3-3 in their last 21 games and 10-1-3 in their last 14 at home.

    Martin Erat and Ryan Suter scored in the first for Nashville, tied for ninth in the West with Anaheim and Minnesota -- a point behind Los Angeles. The Predators are 2-5-1 in their last eight.

    "It stings," Predators defenseman Shane O'Brien said. "We had a chance to go up 3-1 on the power play and we had a couple chances and we just don't bury them. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again and that's why we're on the outside looking in right now."

    Kiprusoff's best stops came in a scramble in the final seconds when the Predators poured on the pressure with Rinne off for an extra attacker. With 5 seconds left, defenseman Shea Weber fired a slap shot from the blue line that Kiprusoff sprawled to get a piece of.

    Rinne made 33 saves. He's 0-4-2 against the Flames, one of only three teams he hasn't beaten.

    "This was for sure our biggest game of the year, so right now we're disappointed," Rinne said. "But at least we have a chance to bounce back right away in San Jose."

    Game notes
    Iginla is 2 for 8 on penalty shots. His other goal came Nov. 10, 2005, against Phoenix's Curtis Joseph. Iginla has only been used once in Calgary's 13 shootouts this season, failing to score in his one chance. ... Calgary's Mikael Backlund was back in the lineup after missing a game because of the flu.
    Congrats to Iggy hitting 30 in 10 straight seasons. To think he's never had a true center to play with him. He could have had a couple scoring titles along the way. A huge win for the Flames though tonight. Glencross comes up huge. Jokinen looks like he's turned into a two way player which is really good to see since he has good speed. There were a lot of posts for both teams tonight. I wonder when Kipper is going to get a rest. That's 20 straight games for him.

  12. #12
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    DALLAS -- The Calgary Flames like their chances when the puck's on Curtis Glencross' stick with the game on the line.

    Glencross converted in the third round of the shootout after scoring regulation winners in the previous two games, giving the Flames a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

    "We have confidence in Glennie," said Calgary's Alex Tanguay, who converted in the first round. "We knew he was going to score."

    Glencross watched how goalie Kari Lehtonen reacted in the first two rounds and adjusted accordingly, scoring on a snap shot low to the stick side to give the Flames the extra point.

    "He dropped down low on (Tanguay) and left the glove wide open," Glencross said. "The second one he kind of stood up a little more. The third one, he stood right up on me and took away everything high so I had to change my game plan and go somewhere else. It worked out for me."

    After Tanguay scored in the second round, Dallas' Mike Ribeiro evened the shootout on a nifty move in the third round, setting the stage for Glencross.

    Rene Bourque, Tom Kostopoulos and Anton Babchuk scored first-period goals during a 3:15 span to get the Flames off to a fast start before the Stars rallied.

    Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots to help the Flames move into a fourth-place tie with Chicago in Western Conference, a point ahead of Dallas. Calgary has won three straight and is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games.
    Blow a three goal lead, but still get the two points. Glencross has a hot stick right now. Kipper stood on his head when we needed him too. Puts us in a tie for fourth with the Hawks now.

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