DENVER (AP) _ While Colorado dismissed the game-winner as an ugly goal, the Calgary Flames had no interest in style points.
Martin Gelinas' goal on a deflection broke a scoreless tie with 2:19 remaining, and Miikka Kiprusoff had 26 saves to lead the Flames past the Avalanche 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Kiprusoff, the NHL leader in goals-against average and save percentage, posted his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career.
Chris Clark scored an empty-net goal at 19:10 as Calgary snapped a three-game losing streak.
The win gave the Flames 70 points and vaulted them from eighth in the Western Conference to fifth. Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs from each conference.
Gelinas' 14th goal came on a shot from the left point by Craig Conroy. Gelinas was battling Colorado's Riku Hahl in front of the crease, and the puck hit Gelinas' shoulder and ricocheted into the net.
``Conroy put it on net,'' Gelinas said. ``I tried to grab it and turned around quickly, but I lost it. I didn't even know it was in. Conroy deserved the goal. Sometimes you shoot and it doesn't go in. This one was just a lucky bounce.
``The win was big for us. We went from eighth to fifth with this win.''
Kiprusoff said his defense ``didn't let them have too many good scoring chances. Pretty much every game we play solid defense, and I just have to do my job. Most of the time, that's enough.''
David Aebischer had 23 saves for Colorado, which has gone 0-3-1-1 in its past five home games while scoring only four goals.
``They got the break at the end,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. ``We have to be a lot better about creating offensive chances.
``We have to find a way to generate when things are not going in for us on the pretty play. Look at their goal. Throw the puck to the net from the top of the circle. It bounces off a guy's shoulder and goes into the net. When they are not going in the pretty way, you have to score them a different way.''
Added Avalanche captain Joe Sakic: ``We have to find a way to get some ugly goals, and hopefully we will turn it around.''
Flames forward Stephane Yelle returned after missing the previous 18 games with a sprained knee. Colorado defenseman Rob Blake was back after missing seven games with a hairline fracture of his left leg, and Adam Foote returned after missing two games with a groin injury.
Colorado outshot Calgary 9-4 in a scoreless first period.
The Avalanche had two prime scoring chances midway through the period.
Kiprusoff made a glove save off Hahl from the slot. The Avalanche thought they had a goal moments later, but John-Michael Liles' shot hit the right post and bounced off Kiprusoff's back before the goalie swatted it out of the crease.
In a scoreless second period, Calgary outshot Colorado 13-9.
|Martin Gelinas (14) ASST: Craig Conroy (25), Toni Lydman (14)|
1 - 0 CGY
|EN - Chris Clark (9) ASST: Jarome Iginla (25), Stephane Yelle (11)|
2 - 0 CGY
|Power Play %||18.8%||15.0%|
|% on Road||19.0%||17.4%|
|% at Home||18.7%||12.7%|
|Denis Gauthier Holding against Alex Tanguay|
|Krzysztof Oliwa Boarding against Robert Boughner|
|Riku Hahl Holding the stick against Dean McAmmond|
|Milan Hejduk Hooking - Obstruction against Chris Clark|
|Jordan Leopold Interference - Obstruction against Teemu Selanne|