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Kiprusoff, Flames beat Blue Jackets 1-0

Source:ap.org Author:Unknown Date:03/25/14 Click:

CALGARY, Alberta - Craig Conroy scored in the third period and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves as the Calgary Flames climbed into a tie for first place in the Northwest Division with a 1-0 victory Tuesday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Conroy got the game's only goal at 5:49 of the third. Eric Nystrom's shoot-in attempt glanced off the stick of Blue Jackets defenseman Aaron Rome and was scooped up by Conroy as he charged into the Columbus end. The veteran center cut to the net, and while fending off defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, fired a backhander over the blocker of Pascal Leclaire.

Combined with Minnesota's 4-2 loss at home to Chicago, the Flames are level with the Wild atop the division with 79 points each. Each team has 15 games remaining.

It was the second shutout of the season and 26th of his career for Kiprusoff, who improved to 33-20-9. The two shutouts have come in his last five games.

Kiprusoff was returning to the net after getting an unusually long five-period rest on the Flames' two-game road trip. Coach Mike Keenan replaced Kiprusoff with Curtis Joseph to start the second period of Friday night's 3-1 loss to Anaheim after Kiprusoff yielded two goals on 11 shots.

Joseph remained in goal for the 3-1 win in Phoenix on Saturday.

The Finnish goaltender was busiest in the opening period, when Columbus outshot the home side 18-6. Halfway through the opening period, Kiprusoff showed his quickness getting across the net to thwart Nikolai Zherdev on a 2-on-1.

The Blue Jackets had numerous chances with the extra man to take the lead over the first two periods, but went 0-for-5 on power plays. Columbus has gone eight games without a power-play goal, 0-for-26 over that span.

Columbus held a two-man advantage for 1:19 of the second period. But the Jackets were unable to generate a dangerous chance, getting just one shot on goal.

Making his ninth straight start in goal for Columbus, Leclaire finished with 18 saves.

Notes@: Calgary D Cory Sarich, whose consecutive games streak came to an end on Saturday at 453, was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. ... Calgary played the second game in a stretch of eight straight against teams that as of Tuesday night were not in playoff position. ... The scoring slumps for Kristian Huselius and C Matthew Lombardi continue. Lombardi has no goals in 18 games and one in his last 29, while Huselius has no goals in 19. ... Rick Nash had his five-game points streak snapped. Nash remains one point away from matching his career high (57).

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