Two nights, two cities, two goaltenders, two overtime wins. For the second straight night the Flames managed to win an overtime game on the road, due in part to the goaltending they received on both occasions.
Miikka Kiprusoff, who had been battling the flu for the past while, came into the net tonight and shut the door on the St. Louis Blues. Stopping 30 of all 31 shots, he made timely saves and gave the Flames a chance to win the game. Brent Sutter’s message must be seeping into the pours of all the players sitting in that dressing room.
The Captain Jarome Iginla led the way offensively again tonight scoring his 7th goal of the season and 3rd in two games.
The Flames allowed a power play goal for the first time in almost two weeks; almost 4 entire games without allowing a goal down a man, including more than a couple 5 on 3 chances by the opposing teams. Slowly becoming one of the better Penalty killing teams in the league, the Flames will have to continue this trend if they hope to keep winning. The addition of Freddy Sjostrom can not be overlooked when looking at this category as he has been a shining light for this team through its first 14 games, and has replaced the speed that was left vacant when Lombardi was shipped to the desert last winter.
Phaneuf seems to be hitting the net more often these days, and a large reason for that is he finally realized that he does not have to swing for the fences every time he fires the puck. Prime example tonight, as he took a well timed shot that found the back of the net; off a Blue player but in the net nonetheless. Normally, Dion would swing like Jason Zuback in a long drive competition and try to singe the mesh of the net. It seems now, and maybe Sutter influence had some effect on him, he is fashioning his shot more for accuracy, which is only a good sign for the Flames. What is more is that he is no longer a minus player, as his recent run of defensive play has vaulted him back into the positive side of the ledger. The Flames are one the highest scoring teams in the league, but Phaneuf, along with his defensive partner Robyn Regehr, have definitely played better of late, and they must be applauded.
A short and very successful road trip; something the Flames can build on as they come home to face a very talented Ranger squad on Saturday night.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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