CALGARY, Alberta — In his first meeting against the
team that drafted him, Nigel Dawes had a career night.
Dawes assisted on all three Calgary goals and Miikka
Kiprusoff had 32 saves as the Flames beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Saturday
night for their third win in a row.
The highlight of Dawes' first career three-point night
was his setup of Jarome Iginla at 16:47 of the second period. Iginla's eighth
goal broke a 1-1 tie and stood up as the winner.
Dawes burst into the Rangers zone along the side boards
and threaded a pass to Iginla in the slot. The Flames captain snapped a shot
inside the goal post past goalie Steve Valiquette.
"That pass he gave me coming right down into the slot was
a tough play to make, not everybody sees it," Iginla said. "He put it right on
my stick and gave me a lot of net to shoot at."
Iginla has four goals in three November games after
scoring only four times in October.
"I saw him at the last second there and I just wanted to
try and get him the puck because the percentages of him scoring from there are
pretty good," said Dawes, tied for third on the team with 10 points (four goals,
Dawes played parts of three seasons with the Rangers
before being dealt to Phoenix last season. He was claimed off waivers by the
Flames during the summer.
"Any time you play a former team, you're going to get
excited for it," Dawes said. "It was one of those games where things went my
Daymond Langkow and Rene Bourque also scored for Calgary
Dan Girardi had the only goal for the Rangers (10-7-1),
who went 1-2 on a Western Canada road trip. New York lost captain Chris Drury
less than one minute into the game when Flames forward Curtis Glencross caught
the unsuspecting Drury with a shoulder to the head.
Rangers coach John Tortorella said Drury sustained a
concussion and expressed his unhappiness with the lack of a penalty call.
"It was a missed call, it should have been a major, they
missed it," Tortorella said.
The Rangers also lost Brandon Dubinsky to an undisclosed
injury early in the second period.
New York hopes to have No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist
back on the ice Thursday when the Rangers face Atlanta. Lundqvist was held out
for a second straight game because of an undisclosed minor injury.
Valiquette was good against the Flames in making 19
stops, but Kiprusoff was even better. Kiprusoff was especially sharp over the
final half of the game as New York pressed for the tying goal.
He turned aside all 24 shots he faced over the last two
periods to improve to 9-3-1.
"That's a pretty good team right there," Kiprusoff said.
"They came hard in the first period and we had some troubles getting the puck
out of the zone but after the first, we played much better and we were skating
more. It was a good two points."
"Our goaltender was outstanding," Flames coach Brent
In addition to a couple of close-in saves off Marian
Gaborik and dangerous chances by Enver Lisin and Vinny Prospal, Kiprusoff also
got some help.
Late in the third period when Flames defenseman Adam
Pardy fell to give the Rangers a 2-on-1 rush, David Moss hustled back to tie up
Ales Kotalik who failed to get a shot at an open net.
Calgary got some insurance at 16:35 of the third when
Dawes and Rene Bourque worked the puck back and forth. Bourque then fired a shot
past Valiquette to make it 3-1.
"We had some good chances, for sure," Rangers defenseman
Wade Redden said. "In the first period, he made some good saves, we could have
got the early jump on them.
New York tied it 1-1 at 17:16 of the first. Girardi
flung a wrist shot from the blue line that got past Kiprusoff, who was screened.
"It was one of our better games of the year," Tortorella
said. "Our transition was good, our forechecking was good, the power play was
good, Kiprusoff was the difference."
Calgary opened the scoring at 3:56 of the first period
when Pardy's wrist shot from the blue line went through a maze of bodies and
Drury was lost for the night after being hit by
Glencross. He was struck away from the puck and immediately dropped to the ice.
He was down for a couple of minutes before being helped to the dressing room.
Calgary entered the night last in the NHL in
power-play chances (46). The Rangers were number one in times short-handed (79).
The Flames were 1 for 3. New York went 0-for-3. … Calgary has scored first in
12 of 15 games (8-3-1). … Craig Conroy has gone yet to score in 15 games, the
lone Flames forward without a goal. … Kiprusoff has gone 38 games since his
last shutout on Feb. 12, 2009. … Kotalik entered the night tied for the league
lead in power-play points (12). He is a team-worst minus-6 and has just three
points at even strength.
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