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Kiprusoff wins 200th as Flames edge Stars

Last Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2009 | 1:17 AM ET

Mikka Kiprusoff notched his 200th career win as the Calgary Flames defeated the visiting Dallas Stars 2-1 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday.

Eric Nystrom scored the game winner halfway through the third period, and Dustin Boyd had two assists in the victory.

"My eyes were as huge as basketballs there. I had a whole head of steam. I knew if he could get it to me, I'd be in pretty much all alone," Nystrom said of his goal. "I just tried getting the shot away quick and surprise him, snuck it between his pads and it felt pretty good."

The goal was Nystrom's first goal in his last 14 games.

"It's always the unexpected player that comes through in playoff hockey. That's what makes the playoffs so exciting, when you see players that don't play much, have big roles or play important parts in games," Flames coach Mike Keenan said.

Calgary forward Jamie Lundmark was one assist away from a Gordie Howe hat-trick, as he potted the Flames' first goal and fought Steve Ott in the first period. Brendan Morrison scored the only goal for the Stars.

Dallas goaltender Marty Turco stopped 29 shots in a losing effort. Kiprusoff had a light night in the other crease, making 18 saves in the win, his league-leading 41st victory of the season.

"It's not good when you lose right now," said Turco, who looked visibly disappointed after seeing his 29-save night go for naught.

"At this time of year, the way things are,… by winning, you're not going to separate yourself, but by losing you will. We're not doing ourselves any favours, and we're going to need some to get in now."

The victory moved the Flames five points up on the surging Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest Division title. The loss was just as big for Dallas, as the Stars sit one point back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

No. 667 for Keenan

The win also marked Keenan's 667th behind an NHL bench. He sits fourth on the league's all-time list, behind Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour and Dick Irvin. Keenan leads all active coaches in wins, with Toronto's Ron Wilson the closest at 547.

"We stressed defence the last couple of days and we came out and held them to one goal. It's great for us," Lundmark said. "It's great being back in the Saddledome, and we'll get on a little roll here with a couple more games at home."

Olli Jokinen finally made his debut in front of the Calgary faithful. The Finnish forward, acquired at the trade deadline, had 10 points in six games heading into Wednesday night. But he was held off the scoresheet thanks to some stellar goaltending by Turco.

Agitator Steve Ott had an effective game for the Stars, though it didn't show up on the scoreboard. He squared off with Lundmark in the first period, blocked shots and got under the skin of Calgary players all night.

Dallas forward Brian Sutherby left the game in the third with a suspected lower body injury.

It was the first home game for the Flames since March 1, as the Saddledome was hosting the men's national curling championships for the last couple weeks. The ice looked a little worse for wear, as the puck was bouncing all over the place throughout the contest.

Ineffective power play

Though Calgary outshot the Stars badly, an ineffective power play helped keep the game close. The Flames went 0-for-5 with the man advantage on the night.

But they also had a perfect night while down a man, going 3-for-3, including a crucial kill around five minutes left with the Flames up by one.

In a tight first period Calgary pressed the Stars, outshooting them 9-4, but couldn't break through for the opening goal.

Dallas pounced early in the second period. Morrison backhanded a shot through traffic on a broken play in front of the net, and it got through Kiprusoff for Morrison's 12th of the year.

Calgary responded thanks to a fantastic finish by Lundmark for his fifth of the year. Boyd made a nice pass to Daymond Langkow at the Dallas blue-line, creating a two-on-one. Langkow then coolly slid the pass across to Lundmark, who snapped a beauty overtop a sprawling Turco. The assist was Langkow's 599th career point.

Turning up the heat late

The shots were fairly even in the second, with the Stars having the slight edge 12-11, but the Flames turned up the heat in the third. The pressure finally paid off at 11:26, when Nystrom was the recipient of another great Boyd pass.

Dallas defenceman Fabian Brunnstrom lost the handle on the puck after some good forechecking by Warren Peters. Boyd then one-handed a pass to Nystrom while the puck was inches away from exiting the Dallas zone, and Nystrom had a half-breakaway.

The American made no mistake, putting one through Turco's legs for the winner.

With files from the Canadian Press

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