Karri Ramo's 1st shutout of season helps Flames beat Avalanche
Calgary netminder makes 26 saves
Karri Ramo had his best game of the season to deny Jarome Iginla his place in the NHL record books.
Ramo made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season, Josh Jooris had a goal and an assist and the Calgary Flames beat the hometown Colorado Avalanche 4-0 on Saturday night.
Matt Stajan, Dougie Hamilton and Mikael Backlund also scored to help the Flames improve to 10-4-0 since the start of December. Ramo got his fifth career shutout and first since Nov. 29, 2014, at Arizona.
"They're always nice but it's something that shows your team played really well," Ramo said. "We played the full 60 minutes really well. Main thing is always to win the game but these are nice and it's good to get the one out of the way."
Iginla, one goal away from becoming the 19th player in NHL history to score 600, was shut down by his former team. After getting No. 599 last Sunday against the Coyotes, he has not scored in three straight games since then. He said he hopes his quest isn't a distraction to his teammates.
I guess we focused more on seeing Iggy score that 600th instead of playing our game. We had a few good chances and we tried to pass the puck to him instead of bringing it to the net.- Avs head coach Patrick Roy on Jarome Iginla's pursuit of 600 NHL goals
"We talk about it," Iginla said. "It's not to look for me. I want us to play normal, if anything use me as a decoy. There's a lot of time to get that."
Despite Iginla's request his teammates were guilty of trying too hard to set him up. Alex Tanguay was alone in front early in the game but tried to pass to Iginla through traffic and squandered a scoring chance.
"I guess we focused more on seeing Iggy score that 600th instead of playing our game," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "We had a few good chances and we tried to pass the puck to him instead of bringing it to the net."
Iginla, who scored 525 goals in 15-plus seasons with the Flames, had a couple of chances in this one but one shot was blocked and Ramo made a save on another early in the third period.
Flames coach Bob Hartley, who coached Iginla for 31 games in 2012-13, said he is now rooting for him to get the big goal.
"Now I'm his biggest fan," he said.
Calgary led 1-0 after the first period and then blew it open with three goals in a 4:49 span of the second period. Jooris made it 2-0 with a tip through the legs of Colorado defenceman Brandon Gormley at 8:18 and Stajan redirected defenceman Dennis Wideman's shot from the point past goalie Semyon Varlamov at 10:47.
Backlund made it 4-0 he banged in his own rebound at 13:07. It was his fifth of the season.
Calvin Pickard replaced Varlamov, who finished with 15 saves.
The Flames are last in the NHL on the power play but scored on the second of their three chances in the first period when Hamilton beat Varlamov at 7:57. It was his fifth goal of the season.
"It was so important we took the crowd away," Hartley said. "That was part of our plan."