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Flames triumph over Kings in battle for Eighth in the West
In what marked the team’s most pivotal game of the season, the Calgary Flames would go on to shutout the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 in a battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference Saturday night. A spectacular performance by Miikka Kiprusoff would essentially steal a victory from the home town kings as Michael Cammalleri would score the game winning goal mid way through the third and final frame.
Calgary - February 19, 2012 - In what marked the team’s most pivotal game of the season, the Calgary Flames would go on to shutout the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 in a battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference Saturday night. A spectacular performance by Miikka Kiprusoff would essentially steal a victory from the home town kings as Michael Cammalleri would score the game winning goal mid way through the third and final frame.
In what would come as no surprise to anyone tuning in for the game, a tight checking affair would be play out as the Sutter brothers matched up for yet another low scoring tilt. The first two periods would offer very little in terms of excitement, but a spectacular save by Miikka Kiprusoff on Kings forward Mike Richards in the first period would be more than enough to make the viewer forget about the relatively boring brand of hockey being put forth by these two defensive minded coaches. As the Kings fumbled to gather possession in the offensive zone, a broken play would lead to the puck finding its way over to Mike Richards as he found himself with a clear lane to an open net. Miikka Kiprusoff on the other hand had different ideas as he once again displayed his world class ability to make something out of nothing. He would proceed to make an incredible cross crease desperation glove save to keep the game scoreless as he robbed the former Philadelphia Flyers captain of his 15th goal of the season.
The Kings were however able to shutdown the top line of the Calgary Flames on this night, as they struggled as a whole to generate a consistent offensive push throughout the entirety of the night. The best Flames opportunities to score would come from two unlikely sources in Krys Kolanos and Tom Kostopoulos. Both players would end up striking the post on their respective plays as goaltender Jonathan Quick would continue to hold steady in between the pipes. Calgary would manage just two shots on goal in the second period as the Kings outshot the Flames 21-12 after two periods of play.
Calgary would come out ready to compete in the final period as they showed a greater intensity and work ethic then in previous periods. This determination would pay off just four minutes into the third period when Tom Kostopoulos would fire a sharp angled shot from the side boards that proceeded to bounce off of the side of the net before squirting out into the slot. Standing alone in front of the net would be Mike Cammalleri as he went on to snipe a perfect shot past the blocker side of Jonathan Quick to put the Flames up by one. Seeing as the Los Angeles Kings sit dead last in the NHL in goal production, the Flames would go on to shutdown the neutral zone and deny the Kings an opportunity to tie the game.
The Kings anemic offense was on full display in the final minute of the game when they pulled their goaltender but were unable to grab possession of the puck for an extended period of time, which resulted in two off sides while attempting to gain the Flames zone. Lets just say the Kings would not go on to tie the game as the Flames would win there 28th game of the season while moving into a playoff spot for the first time this year. Calgary will now fly home to begin a four game home stand that starts on Tuesday night when they get set to face off against the Edmonton Oilers.
1. Miikka Kiprusoff (28 Saves, 4th Shutout of the season)
2. Mike Cammalleri (1 Goal, Game Winning goal)
3. Jonathan Quick (17 Saves, 0.944 SV%)