Blues blank Flames 2-0
Conklin made 34 saves for his third shutout of the season and the St. Louis Blues beat the struggling Calgary Flames 2-0 on Monday.
“He did a phenomenal job for us,” Blues coach Davis Payne said. “You win hockey games on the road, you win close games, you win in situations like that when your goaltender performs like that.”
Conklin deflected the praise to his teammates.
“We’re not a team that can get by with half the guys playing and half the guys watching,” Conklin said. “Guys scored timely goals, guys sacrificing in front of the net blocking shots killing penalties, Cam Janssen(notes) fighting twice, sticking up for the guys on the team. We had big efforts throughout our lineup.”
Patrik Berglund(notes) and David Perron(notes) scored for St. Louis. The Blues moved within four points of the Flames and the Detroit Red Wings, who are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Iginla had a chance to end his scoring drought when the puck came to him at the side of the net during an early power play, but it got caught up in his skates. He then fell to the ice, swiping the puck through the crease as he fell.
“We’re obviously in a little bit of a scoring drought. On a different day those chances go and we get a few,” Iginla said.
Trailing 1-0, Iginla had another great chance in the second period as the Flames broke in on a three-on-one break. Iginla snapped a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that Conklin got a pad on. With the rebound in the crease, Curtis Glencross(notes) had his stick lifted from behind by the hard backchecking T.J. Oshie(notes).
“That game probably goes 1-1 sooner than we would like,” Payne said. “But Osh makes a great play coming back there. We had more than just his, but his was obviously crucial because it was a tap-in if he’s not there.”
The Flames tried to get their offense going in the third period when they outshot the Blues 7-0 over the first 10 minutes, but they could not solve Conklin.
Perron then made it 2-0 with his 15th goal at 11:21 of the third. Andy McDonald(notes) drew two Flames toward him then threaded a pass through the slot to Perron on the other side, and whipped a shot past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff(notes).
“We weren’t playing the way we wanted early in the third and on the bench, we could hear the coaches talk about putting more pressure on them and getting some battles down in the corner and we did that and we ended up scoring a second goal,” Perron said.
The Blues started off their three-game road trip through Western Canada the same way they ended their previous one—with a victory. A month ago they beat Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary on the same trip for the first time in franchise history.
Calgary has lost six in a row and is winless in its past seven. The Flames are 0-5-1 in their past six games at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
“First and foremost it’s disappointing to lose the game, but I’m not going to stand here and be negative because everyone else in the world (is),” Flames coach Brent Sutter said.
In their past 11 home games, the Flames have just 15 goals. They scored more than two goals just once during the stretch, and that night their third goal was into an empty net.
“We know it’s tough on our fans and we know it’s tough on Kipper. He’s playing great in there and we aren’t getting him any goals. You’ve got to do that to win,” Iginla said.
The game was scoreless until St. Louis got a lucky bounce and took a 1-0 lead with 1:18 left in the second period.
Calgary’s struggling power play finished 0 for 2 and is 2 for 32 over the
Notes: The Flames began a stretch of 15 games in which they only play four games against teams currently in a playoff spot… Calgary LW Nigel Dawes(notes) (leg) did not play. Dustin Boyd(notes) started the game in Dawes spot on a line with Daymond Langkow(notes) and Rene Bourque, although coach Brent Sutter was mixing all his lines by the second period… Calgary D Jay Bouwmeester(notes) has gone 34 games without a goal. He has two goals on the season after scoring 15 times each of the past two seasons.