Published November 20, 2014
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 32 shots through overtime and then turned aside two of four shootout attempts to lift the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Olli Jokinen scored the deciding goal in the shootout for the Flames.
Kiprusoff was criticized by Calgary coach Brent Sutter following a loss in Carolina this week and watched as backup Henrik Karlsson beat the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
Calgary's Matt Stajan and Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski traded third-period goals in the game that was scoreless after 40 minutes. Grabovski tied it with just 12.4 seconds left in regulation.
Players on both teams showed the effects of a busy schedule. The Flames were on the end of back-to-back games, and the Maple Leafs just returned home from a four-game western swing.
The pace picked up in the third period. With the game still scoreless, Calgary's Alex Tanguay had goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere beaten but he rang a shot off the crossbar. Kiprusoff stood tall as Leafs forwards Darryl Boyce and Joey Crabb whacked away at a loose puck.
That came moments before Stajan scored in his first game back in Toronto since being traded to Calgary last Jan. 31. The struggling forward pumped his fists enthusiastically after beating Giguere for his third goal of the season.
Kiprusoff looked as though he would make that goal stand up when he denied Phil Kessel on a chance off the rush. But a late hooking penalty to Ales Kotalik gave Toronto new life, and Grabovski fired home the tying goal while Giguere was on the bench for an extra attacker.
The game was a matchup of veteran goaltenders that are currently fighting for their place in the lineup. Giguere was making his first start since Dec. 16 — a return that was delayed by James Reimer's good play. Kiprusoff has struggled with consistency.
There were no signs of rust from Giguere despite the long layoff. Rene Bourque had his chance from in close denied in the first period. Tim Jackman missed on a breakaway deke in the second.
The best Maple Leafs chance in the opening 40 minutes came from Marcel Mueller, who had an open shot off the rush that Kiprusoff came way out to stop.
It was the first NHL game for the 22-year-old German, who became the 11th player to appear in a game for the Maple Leafs and AHL Marlies this season.
NOTES: Flames D Robyn Regehr missed his second straight game because of an undisclosed lower body injury. ... Toronto's Mike Brown served the first game of a three-game suspension. ... Flames D Jay Bouwmeester played in his 469th straight game — the longest current streak in the NHL.