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Miikka Kiprusoff earns 300th career win in a 4-3 victory over San Jose
A lights out performance by Miikka Kiprusoff Wednesday night resulted in the goaltender earning his 300th career NHL victory, as he helped the Calgary Flames battle to a crucial 4-3 road win over the San Jose Sharks. Kiprusoff however was not the only Flames player to have a big outing on this night as center men Olli Jokinen registered his seventh career hat trick in addition to adding an assist.
Calgary - February 9, 2012 - A lights out performance by Miikka Kiprusoff Wednesday night resulted in the goaltender earning his 300th career NHL victory, as he helped the Calgary Flames battle to a crucial 4-3 road win over the San Jose Sharks. Kiprusoff however was not the only Flames player to have a big outing on this night as center men Olli Jokinen registered his seventh career hat trick in addition to adding an assist.
The first period really showcased just how fast the momentum can change in the NHL as the Calgary Flames burst out of the gates to dominate the initial five minutes of play while managing to outshoot the sharks 6-1. Having been held in the game early on by goaltender Anti Niemi, the Sharks responded with a good four to five minute spurt that saw them register ten straight shots through the midway mark of the first period. Much like San Jose, Calgary pulled through this wave of pressure thrown there way thanks in large part to Miikka Kiprusoff. This incredible change of pace continued into the back half of the frame when once again Calgary grabbed the momentum and as a result they were rewarded with Jokinen’s first goal of the game. After a lengthy shift in the offensive zone Jarome Iginla was able to chase down a rebound and dish the puck back to Chris Butler on the point before having his slap shot redirected in by Olli Jokinen for his 15th goal of the season.
The goal scoring would pick up early in the second as just two minutes into the period sharks forward Benn Ferriero was called for interference. Just fifteen seconds into the ensuing power play Olli Jokinen would score his second goal of the game when he took a bounce of the back boards and slide it past Anti Niemi to extend the Calgary lead to two goals. It would not take long however for San Jose to chip into the lead or for that matter tie the game. All-Star Logan Couture would tally his 23rd goal of the season on a delayed Matt Stajan penalty, and just 83 seconds later the game would be tied when Joe Pavelski took a centering pass from behind the net by Joe Thornton as he snuck a shot far side on Miikka Kiprusoff. A good time out by Calgary coach Brent Sutter would follow the game tying goal as he had his team settle down and recollect their composure. Olli Jokinen would once again get into the act when broke into the offensive zone before setting up Jarome Iginla for a one timer that would beat Niemi to the blocker side. For Iginla this would mark his third straight game with a goal and his 21st of the season as they second period came to an end with the score 3-2 for the Calgary Flames.
Penalties troubles early in the final frame would hurt the Flames when Mark Giordano was called for a high sticking penalty in which San Jose captain Joe Thornton sold the call to the referees. After a faceoff win by the Sharks Michael Handzuz would tie the game at three’s when a broken play led to a mad scramble in front the Flames net. Calgary however would remain resilient as just over three minutes later Olli Jokinen would cap of his hat trick performance when Alex Tanguay intercepted a San Jose breakout pass before finding the wide open Jokinen at the side of the Sharks net. San Jose would push hard in the remaining sixteen minutes of play outshooting the Flames 15-8 but were unable to beat the former shark goaltender. Their best opportunity to tie the game came in the dying moments of the period when Patrick Marleau found himself alone in front of the Flames net, but an absolutely incredible leg save by Miikka Kiprusoff would pave the way to a Calgary victory.
With the win Calgary earns their 25th win of the season and more importantly move just one point behind the Minnesota Wild for 8th place in the west with 57 points on the year. The Flames will travel over night to Phoenix as they get set for a huge throw down against the 9th placed Coyotes on Thursday.