Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff showed that he is still one of the NHL’s best netminders, even after missing more than a month due to injury. The Flames recent hot streak continued Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, as Kiprusoff turned aside 31 of the 32 shots he faced to get his third win of the season.
While their top goaltender was sidelined with an MCL sprain, the Flames turned to Leland Irving, Joey MacDonald and Danny Taylor between the pipes, with mixed results. Irving was 2-1-1 in Calgary before being shipped back to the AHL, waiver pick-up MacDonald is 3-3-1 with a 3.05 goals against average and Taylor was a respectable 1-1 in his first two NHL starts before being sent back to the AHL when Kiprusoff returned. The Flames have now won four of their last six games and have taken at least a point from five of those contests. Their ability to get a handful of wins while Kiprusoff was sidelined may very well be the thing that keeps them in postseason contention in 2013.
The Flames offense has now scored four goals in each of their last three games, as Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Mike Cammalleri have been steady producers and secondary scoring from Curtis Glencross, Dennis Wideman and Roman Cervenka have contributed as well. They now find themselves in the top ten in the league in goals per game and Kiprusoff’s return should help them improve on a goals against mark that ranks near the bottom of the league. The Flames find themselves third in the Northwest Division behind the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild, yet only two points out of the playoff picture at the moment. With their star goalie back in top form, they should be able to keep climbing the standings in the next few weeks.