Heritage Classic 2011, Final: Mikka Kiprusoff Gets First Outdoor Shutout In Flames 4-0 Victory

The Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens are outside today for the NHL's Heritage Classic. It's not just an outdoor game, though, as this one represents two vitally important points for each team.

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Heritage Classic 2011: Calgary Wins Their First Outdoor Game With 4-0 Shutout

The Calgary Flames won their first outdoor game with a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the 2011 Heritage Classic. Rene Bourque scored twice in the game, once on the powerplay and once even strength. He also set an outdoor record with 11 shots on goal. 

Bourque got the scoring started in the first period with the powerplay goal at 8:09 of the first period. That goal was assisted by Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen. Anton Babchuk scored in the second on a shorthanded goal coming off the Canadiens' first powerplay of the game. Bourque scored his second goal of the game 2:02 later in the period. Alex Tanguay scored on the powerplay in the third period to give the Flames their 4-0 lead. 

The Canadiens outshot the Flames 38-37, but never really started to find the offense until the second period, being outshot 19-8 in the first period. The Canadiens never really could figure Mikka Kiprusoff who gets the first shutout in NHL outdoor game history as well. He made all 38 saves while his foe at the other end, Carey Price, made 33 in the losing effort.

For more on this game, please visit our Canadiens site, Habs Eyes on the Prize, and our Flames site, Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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Heritage Classic 2011: Rene Bourque Scores His Second To Give Flames A 3-0 Lead

The Montreal Canadiens went on the powerplay for the first time at the eleven minute mark of the second period. That proved to be a bad thing for them because Anton Babchuk scored a shorthanded goal. 2:02 later, Rene Bourque scores his second goal of the night to give the Flames a 3-0 lead over the Montreal Canadiens. 

The Canadiens seemed to have been adapting well to the ice conditions as the game went along as they are outshooting the Flames 16-10 in the second period and, at one point, had a 12-2 advantage in the period. Mikka Kiprusoff has been playing extremely well in the game, stopping all 24 shots that he has seen thus far in the game. Montreal's Carey Price has 26 saves on 29 shots on goal. 

Bourque is third on the team in goals scored and if the game ended this way, he would move up to second with Curtis Glencross. The Flames could very well play a sound defensive game for the rest of this game just to make sure it ended sooner because its that cold. 

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Heritage Classic 2011: No Zambonis To Be Used On McMahon Stadium Ice

As a resident of the Mid-Atlantic United States, I'm not too familiar with temperatures so cold that ice becomes brittle. I'm usually just happy to get a few days of skating in each winter. In Calgary, though, it gets really cold, and as a result, such ice issues can arise.

Because it's so cold in Calgary today -- and really, it's not even as bad as it was on Saturday for the alumni game --  the Zamboni will not come out on the ice during intermission. The weight of the machine can literally break the ice, so Dan Craig and his ice team will have to use more traditional methods. 

From NHL.com:

Instead, expert skating NHL ice crew members will clear the ice with specially-designed shovels. Craig's son, Mike, will follow with a thin spray of hot water from a custom-made water-sprayer unit. Craig will guide his son - now there's a Heritage twist - by walkie-talkie, since it is hard to see where the spray lands with all of the steam created.    

Remember back to the Winter Classic when the warm temperatures and rain in Pittsburgh threatened the game? Now, the ice is too cold. Go figure. 

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Heritage Classic 2011: Rene Bourque Gives Flames 1-0 Lead

The first goal of the 2011 Heritage Classic came at the 8:09 mark of the first period from Rene Bourque. Assists on the goal came from Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen. The Flames were on a 5 on 3 powerplay after both P.K. Subban and Hal Gill got tripping penalties for the Canadiens. 

The Flames are adapting well to the noticeably choppy ice as they are outshooting the Canadiens 13-4 in the first period. The period has been marred slightly by the ice crew as they come in and fix the large ruts that continually show up in the ice due to the extreme cold temperatures. For those reasons as well, the ice won't be resurfaced between the periods by Zambonis, only by shovels. 

Carey Price is having a really good game keeping the Canadiens in the game early with 12 saves. On the opposite end, Mikka Kiprusoff has only had to make four saves. 

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Heritage Classic 2011: Time, TV Information, Storylines And More

The 2011 Heritage Classic is here and the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames are set for battle out in the elements at McMahon Stadium. The puck drops at 6 p.m. Eastern. Where can you find the game?

In the United States...

The game is being broadcast on Versus in HD in the States. Dave Strader, Andy Brickley and Brian Engblom have the call. 

In Canada...

CBC has the event in HD north of the border, with Jim Hughson taking play-by-play duties. He's joined in the booth by Craig Simpson, while Glenn Healy is down at ice level. Scott Oake is the roving reporter. 

One major storyline to look for, as is always the case with these outdoor games, is the weather. There are clear skies and cold temperatures around 0 degrees Fahrenheit in Calgary, but it's so cold that the ice is firming up and there are rough patches that will need to be taken care of as play goes on. 

One other storyline to keep an eye on: how many fans have to leave the stadium with burned retinas from the sheer number of Flames' Heritage Classic jerseys in the area. Man, those things are rough.

Stay with this StoryStream for live updates on the game, and head over to SB Nation's Matchsticks & Gasoline to discuss the game with Flames fans. Habs Eyes On The Prize have you covered from the Montreal perspective.

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PHOTOS: Fans Enjoy Spectator Plaza At 2011 Heritage Classic

Kevin van Steendelaar of SB Nation's Habs Eyes On The Prize is in Calgary for the 2011 Heritage Classic. Outside of the stadium before the game, fans gathered in Spectator Plaza, which is basically the spot where the NHL's sponsors give away all their stuff.

Still, there's plenty of stuff there for fans to enjoy, and Kevin took some photos.

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Plenty more over at Habs Eyes On The Prize.

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Heritage Classic 2011: Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens Take It Outside At 6:00 P.M.

There's something weird about this Heritage Classic. Maybe it's because the coverage of the game has been virtually non-existent in the United States so far, and maybe it's because half the world has never heard of McMahon Stadium in Calgary before. 

But in Montreal, in the host city and across Canada, today's Heritage Classic is a big deal. The hype machine is out and really, for both clubs, it's an important game. For the Flames, who sit firmly on the cusp of a wild Western Conference playoff picture, literally every point counts.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, are comfortably inside the Eastern playoff picture at the moment, but they're certainly in the midst of some strife right now with just one regulation win in their last six. 

The end result? This game is the crux of what the NHL wants it to be -- a meaningful, hard-hitting game that, you know, just happens to be outside. Given that this game is so late in the season, there's definitely an extra level of importance placed on it in comparison to the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. 

There's no worry of rain, either, this time around. The forecast calls for temperatures around minus-7 degrees Celsius at game time with just a bit of cloud cover. No precipitation, thankfully. The game should go off without a hitch.

For more on the game, follow our writers on the ground in Calgary: Hayley Mutch of SB Nation's Matchsticks & Gasoline and Kevin van Steendelaar of SB Nation's Eyes On The Prize. We'll be providing live updates on the game right here in this StoryStream. 

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