Inside The Game: Flames vs. Ducks
FLAMES, KIPPER DROP DUCKS IN POSSIBLE HOME FINALE
CALGARY, AB -- It was fan appreciation night Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Fans instead showed their appreciation for their franchise face between the pipes.
Miikka Kipruosff made 32 saves while Brian McGrattan's goal early in the third period stood up as the winner as the Calgary Flames dropped the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
Potentially playing his last game ever on home ice in Calgary, Flames serenaded Kiprusoff after every big save from the 36-year-old, who holds almost every conceivable club record for goaltenders.
The franchise face in the crease dazzled right from the drop of the puck, kicking out five shots in the first three minutes, including a gem in tight off Emerson Etem. He did the same to Andrew Cogliano, stoning the Ducks' forward twice -- prompting a chant directed at Kiprusoff.
Kiprusoff quickly went back to shutting down the Ducks offense, robbing Corey Perry with his glove on a fly-by in the high slot midway through the middle frame.
Brian McGrattan extended the lead to two 3:14 into the second period. Poking the puck by Anaheim blueliner Sheldon Souray at the blueline, McGrattan beat Francois Beauchemin in the ensuing foot race, jumping around the defenseman and walking in alone on Hiller, sliding a backhand over the line.
After stopping Perry on another pair of attempts, Kiprusoff robbed former Calgary Hitmen captain Ryan Getzlaf in the slot, blockering away his rocket from the hash marks.
Perry eventually found a way to beat the winningest goaltender in franchise history, taking a cross-slot pass from Kyle Palmieri and depositing it over Kiprusoff's blocker to cut the score to 2-1 at 16:19.
But Roman Cervenka found the back of an empty net with 50.8 seconds, preserving a win in what could be Kiprusoff's final game.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Poking the puck by Souray and beating Beauchemin in the ensuing foot race, McGrattan walked in alone on Hiller, threw a deke and slid a backhand between the legs of the Ducks goaltender 3:14 into the final frame for the eventual game-winner.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Midway through the second period, Corey Perry cruised through the slot and uncorked a wicket snapshot that was met by the glove of Kiprusoff in vintage fashion.
McGrattan's goal gave the Flames a cushion they'd eventually need, standing up as the game winner.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“I've been doing this for a living for a long time, even before I came over here, I was in Europe. That's been my life, nothing else. It takes lots from me. I have no plans.”
STAT OF THE GAME
The Flames embark on a four-game road trip to close out the season, starting with the Minnesota Wild on Sunday (4 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before heading to Nashville on Tuesday (6 p.m. MT, SNET-W), St. Louis on Thursday (6 p.m. MT, SNET-W) and concluding the season Friday in Chicago (6:30 p.m. MT, TSN).