The last time the Flames saw the Sharks, they squandered an exceptional first period and lost 4-1 to open their season on January 20th.
But that will all change tonight, as Miikka Kiprusoff returns to the Flames lineup after missing 13 games with a sprained MCL. So I hereby declare this the Miikka Kiprusoff Appreciation Thread:
Most of the Flames' problems while Kiprusoff was out had little to do with goaltending, as their early trend of out-shooting and out-chancing their opposition that made fans cautiously optimistic about this season seems to have died down. But if they had decent goaltending in the game against Colorado, they may have won the game against Colorado and they'd still be ahead of the Edmonton Oilers in the standings.
The Sharks arrive in Calgary under much the same circumstances that the Canucks did on Sunday night. They played last night and beat Vancouver 3-2, and their flight into the city was delayed. If the Flames can turn it on the first period and keep it coming throughout the game, they have a chance to get the Sharks for a loss in game one in which their play didn't reflect the final score.
Kiprusoff will battle his countryman Antti Niemi in the Sharks net tonight, so you know it's gonna be a good one. Niemi has been ridiculously good lately, but the Sharks are only 4-4-2 in their past 10 games after coming back down to earth following their hot start to the season. Kipper has been practicing and taking shots while he was on the mend, so hopefully it doesn't take him too long to re-adjust to game action. And if he lets in a wobbly one on the first few shots of the game, hey, at least it's better than letting one in in the last few minutes of the game.
Flames lines and pairings:
KIPRUSOFF <3 <3 <3
Go Flames Go.