Flames 3, Wild 0
CALGARY, Alberta (AP)
''We know what we have with Kipper,'' said defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who opened the scoring at 3:08 of the second period. ''Even though we've lost some games, he's kept us in there. It's the same old story with him. ... ''He's been pretty lights out lately.''
Niklas Hagman added an insurance goal late in the third period for the Flames, who had lost four of five at home.
One goal was all the offense Kiprusoff needed in his 37th career shutout and third this season.
''We were not happy after that last game on the road trip,'' said Kiprusoff, who faced 24 shots in the first period of Calgary's previous game in Pittsburgh, a 4-1 loss. ''We know we have to work harder. Today, we were a hardworking team. This was a good game and a big two points.''
Kiprusoff's best stop came in the second period, preserving a two-goal lead. Martin Havlat zipped a perfect pass to spring a wide-open Marek Zidlicky on a breakaway. But the Wild defenseman couldn't fool Kiprusoff as the goalie jabbed out a pad to deny Zidlicky's close-in shot.
A few minutes later, with Minnesota on a power play, Zidlicky again threatened with a hard slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle, but Kiprusoff was there to get his chest in front of the rising shot.
Minnesota has lost four of five, but usually has Calgary's number. The Wild won seven of the previous eight meetings, including three straight in Calgary.
Iginla set up Bouwmeester's goal by carrying the puck behind the net, then threading a backhand pass diagonally through the slot to the uncovered defenseman, who fired in his third goal of the season.
Bouwmeester, the NHL's current iron man at 448 consecutive games played, is enjoying a solid season. He leads the Flames in plus-minus (plus-8) and ranks fifth in the NHL in average ice time (25:49).
Iginla's 10th goal came on his own rebound. His original shot from far out deflected wide of the net, but the puck caromed off the end boards and out front for Iginla to tuck past a surprised Jose Theodore.
Iginla has eight goals and 12 points in the past nine games after opening the season with two goals and eight points in the first 15 games.
''I've been skating a little bit better, playing with a little more confidence and just playing. Trying to compete and play hard and not think too much,'' Iginla said.
Minnesota center John Madden was on the ice for both second-period goals and shouldered much of the blame.
''If I take back that shift and play a little bit better, I give our team a chance to win. I'm primarily to blame for the loss tonight,'' Madden said as he sat slumped in his locker. ''The first goal they scored, I lost coverage down low. They got me running around a little bit and they were able to capitalize on it. Then, a misplayed puck by me again and next thing you know it's 2-0.''
Theodore got the start after Niklas Backstrom allowed 18 goals in his last three starts. Theodore finished with 28 saves.
Hagman, on a power play at 18:31 of the third, rounded out the scoring for Calgary, which was coming off a 1-2-2 Eastern road trip.
Minnesota entered the night ranked second in the NHL on the power play, but came up empty on three attempts. Calgary went 1 for 3.
''Those are the moments you have to capitalize on but you have to give them credit - they had good penalty killing tonight and their goalie was very good,'' Wild captain Mikko Koivu said.
The Northwest Division rivals will face off against each other three more times in the next three weeks, including Friday night in Minnesota.
The Flames, 14th in the Western Conference, welcome the division-leading Vancouver Canucks to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.
Notes: Minnesota outshot Calgary 32-31. The Wild had been outshot in their previous 20 games. The only other time they had outshot the opposition this season was Oct. 8 when they outshot Carolina 42-37. ... Minnesota has only one power-play goal in its past seven games (1 for 19). ... Calgary D Mark Giordano ranks second in the league in blocked shots (64). ... Calgary RW Ales Kotalik (knee) could make his season debut as soon as this weekend. Kotalik has been skating with the team for the past week. He had three goals and two assists in four preseason games before getting injured. ... Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon, recalled Sunday from Houston (AHL), made his NHL debut on his 21st birthday.