PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Mike Richards scored the lone goal and Philadelphia goalie Antero Niittymaki was perfect through regulation, overtime and the shootout to lift the Flyers to a 1-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

It was the NHL’s first scoreless game decided by shootout. Only one other game this season went to overtime without a goal, but San Jose scored in the extra session to win 1-0 at Anaheim on Nov. 4.

Despite the lack of offense, fans buzzed throughout the first shootout staged in Philadelphia. Niittymaki turned aside Kristian Huselius, Jarome Iginla and former Flyers forward Tony Amonte in the league’s new tiebreaker after making 28 saves through regulation and five minutes of overtime.

Calgary’s Miikaa Kiprusoff outdid him until Richards finally broke through on the Flyers’ first shootout attempt. Kiprusoff stopped 37 regular shots and denied Jeff Carter on Philadelphia’s second and final shot in the shootout.

His biggest save came with 37.5 seconds left in overtime when he stopped Mike Knuble’s breakaway. Kiprusoff also stood tall in the third period when the Flyers held a 37-28 shots advantage.

Niittymaki was tested in the extra session after the Flames were awarded a power play with 2:59 remaining.

Carter nearly won it in regulation for the Flyers but he fired wide left of the net with 11 minutes remaining.

Both teams had plenty of good scoring chances through the first two periods.

Flyers forward Simon Gagne, the NHL leader in goals with 23, almost had another one but he also shot wide of Kiprusoff with just over a minute remaining in the second period.

Earlier in the frame, a shot by Flames defenseman Roman Hamrlik deflected off the crossbar behind Niittymaki.

Notes: Flyers D Joni Pitkanen will undergo surgery Wednesday to fix a sports hernia and will miss four-to-six weeks. Fellow defenseman Eric Desjardins injured his right shoulder in the first period and didn’t return. … The Flyers recalled LW Ben Eager, D Freddy Meyer, and G Jamie Storr from the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms. … Iginla hasn’t scored in nine games. … This was the only meeting between the clubs this season.

AP-ES-12-06-05 2209EST


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