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02/12/2013 1:47 AM EST
Wild slip past Flames 2-1 in shootout
MINNESOTA 2, CALGARY 1 (OT)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Mikko Koivu had plenty of reasons to
bask in the spotlight Monday night - his 500th NHL game, his
game-winning goal in a shootout, a much-needed road win. The
Minnesota captain preferred to stay humble.



The Wild, backed by 23 saves from Niklas Backstrom, won 2-1 over
the Calgary Flames for their first win in five tries away from
Xcel Energy Center.



"Sometimes you need good goaltending and tonight we got it,"
Koivu said. "More importantly, we got the win, especially the
first road win for us."



Minnesota coach Mike Yeo had nothing but good things to say
about Koivu.



"In a game like that, a guy who is an offensive player and his
first thought, his first priority is still defense and making
sure nothing gets in the back of our net," Yeo said. "To me
that's what a guy like that should be recognized for. He's the
kind of guy that you win hockey games with."



With each team having scored once in the shootout, Koivu sped in
on Leland Irving and made a sharp move to his forehand to
cleanly beat the Calgary goaltender.



Alex Tanguay was then stopped by the pad of Backstrom, sending
the Flames to their eighth straight shootout defeat. The result
came on the one-year anniversary of the last time Calgary won a
shootout.



"Getting blown out in Vancouver and then we respond with an
effort that could have been better. It's frustrating," said
Calgary's Blair Jones, who shot first in the shootout and
missed.



"I wish I would have scored," said Jones, who is 1-for-3 in his
career. "I'm pretty angry at myself for not putting it in the
back of the net and giving our team a chance to win."



Kyle Brodziak scored in regulation for Minnesota.



Jiri Hudler scored for Calgary, which opened a three-game
homestand with the first in a stretch of six games in 10 days.



Backstrom improved his career mark against Calgary to 14-9-5 in
30 starts. He entered the night with a 1.91 goals-against
average and .932 save percentage against the Flames.



"It's never easy. It seems like it's always a one-goal game,"
Backstrom said. "It's a fun building, a live building, a good
crowd. It's fun to play, but it's always tough."



Unhappy with his team's efforts after a 5-1 loss to the
Vancouver Canucks, Flames coach Bob Hartley completely retooled
his lines. Among the changes, struggling captain Jarome Iginla
opened the game on a line with Hudler on left wing and centered
by recent AHL call-up Ben Street, who was playing his second
career game.



"Our fans certainly deserved that win. We battled, but not as
consistently as I would have liked," said Hartley, who reunited
Iginla with Tanguay and Curtis Glencross by game's end. "It
seems that we dominated some parts and they dominated us in some
other parts."



Trailing 1-0 after two periods, Calgary tied it 1:28 into the
third when Hudler scored on a two-on-one.



The goal came after Brodziak opened the scoring with 1:38 left
in the second period, taking advantage of a turnover deep in the
Flames' end when Iginla failed to get the puck out.



It was the first goal of the season for the 28-year-old, who was
coming off a year in which he recorded career highs for goals
(22) and points (44). This year has been a struggle. Brodziak
entered the night with no goals, one assist and his minus-6 was
better than only Suter's minus-7.



"Finally," said Brodziak, cracking a smile. "Hopefully they'll
come more often. It's tough to explain sometimes when it's not
going in. It's not something you can dwell on, you just have to
focus on playing a strong game."



With Miikka Kiprusoff out with a lower-body injury, Irving's
third consecutive start and 10th career start was also his first
ever appearance at the Scotiabank Saddledome.



He didn't have long to settle his nerves as he was tested in the
opening minute by Koivu, who pounced on Tanguay's giveaway but
had his close-in shot turned aside by Irving. The 24-year-old
goalie finished the game with 23 saves.



"I take pride in shootouts as a goaltender but it wasn't there
tonight," said Irving, who was also beaten by Zach Parise on the
first shot.



Notes: The Flames face Dallas on Wednesday. ... The Wild
departed for Vancouver where they'll play the Canucks on
Tuesday. ... Calgary dropped to 6-21 all-time in shootouts at
home. ... Calgary D Cory Sarich played after sitting out the
past four games. ... It was the first of five meetings between
the two clubs, the first three coming in a 16-day span. ...
Iginla has 35 goals against Minnesota in 67 career games. The
only other team he has scored that many goals against is
Colorado, but his 35 goals against the Avalanche have come in 89
games. ... Calgary played its 10th game of the season, the last
NHL team to reach that mark.

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