Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff looks to become the franchise’s all-time leader in wins trying for No. 263 against the Blues Monday afternoon in St. Louis.
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The Flames (0-1-0) outscored the Blues 14-3 in winning all four meetings last season. They’ve also won six of seven in St. Louis, and are 11-2-1 there since 2003-04.
Kiprusoff and captain Jarome Iginla and have been instrumental to this success.
Iginla had five goals and two assists against the Blues last season, and has 10 goals and eight assists in his last seven games in St. Louis.
Kiprusoff was between the pipes for all four games in last season’s series, posting a 0.75 goals-against average and two shutouts. In 22 games versus the Blues since 2003-04, he is 18-2-2 with a 1.75 GAA, his best winning percentage and lowest GAA against any team he has faced at least nine times.
Kiprusoff has also recorded a 1.98 GAA in winning nine straight games in St. Louis since a 3-2 shootout loss on Jan. 30, 2006.
The Flames are also coming off an uneven performance in their first game.
Curtis Glencross’ goal allowed Calgary to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission Saturday against Pittsburgh. But the Flames were outshot 16-5 in the second period as the Penguins scored four times.
Calgary regrouped in the third and scored two goals to pull within one, but Pittsburgh added an empty netter to hand the Flames a 5-3 loss.
“The second period is definitely what cost us,” said Iginla, who sat out the preseason because of back spasms. “We got sloppy, we had way too many turnovers, we didn’t play good hockey.
“We played the whole period in our zone because of it. In the first and third, we were solid, but we can’t give any team a period like we gave them.”
The Flames last opened with back-to-back losses in 2008-09.
Fantasy notes: Rene Bourque scored in the opener and he’ll be looking to match or exceed his streak of back-to-back 27-goal campaigns by registering another one in ’11-12. Patrik Berglund found the back of the net in the first game for St. Louis and he’ll be looking to take his new-found confidence and exceed last year’s 52 points. Follow Chris Nichols on Twitter
The Blues try to avoid opening a season with back-to-back defeats for the first time in five years. St. Louis (0-1-0) had several chances in Saturday’s opener against Nashville, outshooting the Predators 33-16, but only Jason Arnott and Patrik Berglund found the back of the net in a 4-2 loss.
It was an inauspicious start for St. Louis, which opened last season with six straight home victories and didn’t lose in regulation at the Scottrade Center until Nov. 27 – its 10th contest there.
“We’ll call this speed bump in the road No. 1, nothing to panic about,” Blues’ David Backes said. “We outshot them 2 to 1, we just didn’t bury our chances, and they did.”