Burned: Wild shut out 3-0 in Calgary
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For once, the Minnesota Wild was not out-shot by a huge margin in the second period. But, in a stat that matters much more, the team was out-scored in that stretch.
The Calgary Flames got a pair of second period goals and held on for a 3-0 win Monday night in Alberta, handing the Wild its fourth loss in the last five games. Calgary goalie Mikka Kiprusoff, as he rarely does lately, frustrated the Wild throughout, most notably in a third period in which the visitors out-shot the Flames by a 2-to-1 margin for much of the stanza, but could put nothing on the scoreboard. It was the first time the Wild had been shut out this season.
All the offensive zone effort went for naught as Kiprusoff stopped the 13 Wild shots in the period, and all 32 he faced in the game, as the Wild dropped another Northwest Division game. It was a stark contrast from recent trends. The Wild won all three of its visits to Calgary last season, and had beaten Kiprusoff in seven straight games.
"I didn't mind the way we played the third period," said Wild coach Todd Richards in the post-game scrum. "We generated some chances, but Kiprusoff made the saves."
In the other net, Jose Theodore stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced. While none of the Wild players were able to quiet the crowd, Martin Havlat at least made every effort to continue his recent offensive impact, recording seven shots on the Calgary net. Rookie defenseman Jared Spurgeon, called up from Houston on Sunday, made his NHL debut, logging just under 15 minutes of ice time with one shot on goal.
Currently in the midst of a stretch in which it will play six games in nine days, the Wild returns home to face the resurgent Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.