Final OT

Calgary won 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

Calgary won 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, April 22nd
Flames2Final
OT
Red Wings1
Game 2: Saturday, April 24th
Flames2Final
Red Wings5
Game 3: Tuesday, April 27th
Red Wings2Final
Flames3
Game 4: Thursday, April 29th
Red Wings4Final
Flames2
Game 5: Saturday, May 1st
Flames1Final
Red Wings0
Game 6: Monday, May 3rd
Red Wings0Final
OT
Flames1

7:30 PM ET, April 22, 2004

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

1 2 3 OT T
CGY 0 1 0 12
DET 0 1 0 01

M. Nilson (Flames - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Kiprusoff (Flames - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

K. Maltby (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Nilson's OT goal clinches opener

DETROIT (AP) -- The Calgary Flames proved there's more to their offense than Jarome Iginla.

Marcus Nilson's first career playoff goal at 2:39 of overtime lifted Calgary to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Steve Yzerman

Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff anchored the Flames yet again, turning away 28 shots.

Calgary's Robyn Regehr, who like Nilson played in just his eighth postseason game, scored his first career playoff goal late in the second period to tie it at 1-all.

Iginla, a finalist for NHL MVP, didn't mind being held to just two shots -- both in the second period.

"That's part of what's been so fun this year," he said. "It's been somebody different scoring big goals each night. That's why we're where we're at."

Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is a big reason the Flames are in the second round for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 1989. And he helped them win their first Game 1 since the finals 15 years ago. Calgary was 0-7 in series openers since.

Kiprusoff's 28 saves lifted the Flames to their fourth straight road victory in the playoffs.

"It's huge," Kiprusoff said. "We're playing the Detroit Red Wings."

Curtis Joseph made 16 saves for Detroit, which was 3-0 at home this postseason.

On the winning goal, Martin Gelinas passed the puck from behind the net to Nilson, whose shot from the left circle got past Joseph's glove.

"He made a good shot," he said. "I wish I would've had it."

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Detroit.

The Flames played their third straight overtime game. Calgary beat Vancouver in overtime in Game 7 of the first-round series after losing Game 6 in triple overtime. Detroit played its first overtime of the postseason after getting past Nashville in six games.

The Red Wings had four days of rest, but Calgary had just two days off.

Detroit looked fresh -- not rusty -- and prevented the Flames from shooting on Joseph for nearly 10 minutes. The Red Wings outshot them 13-2 in the opening period.

"They dominated us in the first period," Iginla said. "Kipper gave us a chance."

While Detroit had the NHL's best record this season, the sixth-seeded Flames boast two of the league's top players and Darryl Sutter, a finalist for coach of the year.

Iginla is a finalist for the Hart Trophy, which goes to the NHL MVP, and Kiprusoff is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, which honors the league's top goalie.

Iginla led the NHL with 41 goals in the regular season and is among league leaders with eight points in the playoffs.

Kiprusoff allowed just 1.69 goals a game, the lowest average since Dave Kerr's 1.54 GAA in the 1939-40 season with the New York Rangers.

Kiprusoff faced a lot of pressure from the high-powered Red Wings, but only one shot got past him.

"It seems like he's always in good position," Detroit's Steve Yzerman said.

Kirk Maltby got a shot past Kiprusoff midway through the first period, but the goal was negated because Kris Draper was penalized for goaltender interference.

The Red Wings struggled on the power play -- again.

They were 0-for-6 with an extra attacker after going 2-for-29 against Nashville.

"The difference in the game was our power play," Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.

The only goals in regulation came in the second period. Detroit's Robert Lang scored at 6:15, and Regehr tied it at 1 with 2:03 left in the period.

Lang, acquired from Washington two months ago, produced his second highlight-worthy goal of the playoffs and his third overall. He skated from the left boards across the ice, slipped past one Flames player and had Rhett Warrener engaged as his wrist shot went over Kiprusoff's shoulder.

Regehr's slap shot from above the left circle flew between two Red Wings and past Joseph, who looked as if he didn't see the puck. The goal was the first against Joseph in nearly 120 minutes, dating to Game 5 against Nashville.

Game notes


Detroit had not played the Flames in the playoffs since advancing past them in 1978 -- when they were still in Atlanta. ... Brendan Shanahan and Derian Hatcher assisted on Lang's goal. Lang has seven points in the playoffs, and four in the past three games. ... The Red Wings replaced Steve Thomas (groin) with Jason Williams, who played in his first playoff game this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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