Sharks too much for Calgary's Kiprusoff
This time, Miikka Kiprusoff couldn't rescue the Calgary Flames.
The Finnish netminder was absolutely brilliant in making 41 saves, but it wasn't enough to prevent the San Jose Sharks from skating to a 2-0 win Thursday on home ice in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final.
The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1.
Kiprusoff stole a victory for Calgary in Game 1 on Wednesday when he made 37 saves in a 3-2 win. The Finn was back at again Thursday, making one highlight-reel stop after another to keep the Flames, who were outshot 43-21 on the night, in the game.
Not to be outdone was Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov, who although not as busy as his Finnish counterpart, came up big when he had to for San Jose.
"They were both unbelievable. Naby saved the game for us a few times, early in the first period and then again at the end of game to keep it a 2-0 game. Kipper was just as good," Sharks forward Joe Pavelski told Hockey Night in Canada after the game.
Both goalies were sensational in the first period, combining for 18 saves in a tight-checking, goalless opening frame.
Things opened up in the second with San Jose taking control, dictating the pace, and laying siege on the Calgary net — the Sharks outshot the Flames by a whopping 27-3 in the period.
Pavelski broke the deadlock at 4:56 of the middle frame with his second career playoff goal. Captain Patrick Marleau drove towards the net and Pavelski picked up the loose puck outside the crease before scoring on a pretty spin-move.
"I just threw the puck at him. A goalie like that who's on top of his game like that, you just hope that it goes in," said Pavelski.
Calgary did itself few favours by taking six consecutive penalties and paid for its lack of discipline late in the period. With San Jose on the power play, Craig Rivet was buzzing around the net and he slipped a pass across the crease to rookie Torrrey Mitchell who banged the puck home for his first career playoff marker.
"We spent a little too much time in our zone in that period," Flames defenceman Cory Sarich said.
Indeed, Calgary was shorthanded for 9:52 and gave up 17 power-play shots on net during the second.
The Flames tried to put something together in the third period, but the parade to the penalty box continued — the Flames were called for four penalties — and Nabokov robbed Owen Nolan of a sure goal with a phenominal glove save with 4:51 left in regulation to preserve the win and earn his sixth career playoff shutout.
After the game, Calgary coach Mike Keenan was fuming over the performance of the officials.
"I was very upset about the officiating," Keenan told reporters. "I'll share those thoughts with the league and with the supervisor of the officials. I can't comment on how it affected my players. We had a good first period, and then there was a total imbalance in the second."
The best-of-seven series shifts to Calgary for Game 3 on Sunday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET).