DENVER – Call this another Valentine's Day Massacre.
The Calgary Flames showed the reeling Colorado Avalanche little love Monday night at the Pepsi Center, where they scored five times in the first period and cruised to a 9-1 victory.
The Flames, on a 9-1-2 roll since mid-January, moved from 10th place in the tightly-bunched Western Conference into eighth with 66 points, one point ahead of Minnesota.
The free-falling Avalanche, which earlier in the day lost Peter Forsberg to retirement, suffered its eighth consecutive defeat and remained in 14th place in the West, 10 points out of a playoff berth with 25 games to play.
The nine goals were a season high for Calgary and the most allowed by Colorado since the team has been in Denver. The Avalanche has been outscored 35-12 in the losing streak.
As if the Avalanche needed any more discouraging news, leading scorer Matt Duchene suffered a hand injury late in the second period and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
"We have to find a way to get out of it," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "Listen, you had a team coming in here that certainly wasn't feeling sorry for us. We talked about this being one team we have to catch in order to move up in the standings. We have to regroup and find a way to work through this and get out of it. This is a young team, we're back on our heels and we're a fragile team right now. The best solution for this is winning hockey games."
The Flames weren't about to let that happen Monday.
"We knew they were under some pressure to stop their streak and have a chance at home, and we were able to get off to a really good start," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who scored twice and extended his point-scoring streak to six games (three goals, six assists). "We know how it is with the pressure, and getting off to a good start was a big boost for us.
"They were flatter than usual and you could see some pretty good reasons. It was a pretty emotional day for them. Also with them trying to stop their streak. We know how it is. We've been on that side where you have a lot of pressure."
The Flames put the game on ice early, as the Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-David Moss line combined for three goals and six assists in the opening period. Jokinen had a goal and three assists in the period, Moss a goal and two assists, and Glencross a goal and an assist.
"We played good as a team," Jokinen said. "Since we started playing with Glenny and Mosser, we've been able to score some goals every game."
The tone was set early when Moss, who added a third-period assist to complete a four-point evening, deflected Robyn Regehr's shot behind goalie Peter Budaj 18 seconds into the game after Jokinen won a faceoff from Duchene.
The Flames made it 2-0 at 5:57 when Anton Babchuk fired the puck past Budaj from the point after Jokinen won a draw from Paul Stastny. The goal came seven seconds into a Colorado penalty for too many men on the ice.
Sacco immediately replaced Budaj, who faced five shots, with Craig Anderson, but the Flames continued their barrage and scored three more goals on eight shots.
Iginla scored from point-blank range at 11:14, Glencross converted a pass from Jokinen at 12:41, and Jokinen put a back-handed shot inside the right post off a feed from Glencross at 17:01.
The Avalanche are the NHL's worst penalty-killing team at home, but managed to kill off Philippe Dupuis' five-minute penalty for kneeing Jokinen. The infraction came at the 20-minute mark of the first period and Dupuis was assessed a game misconduct.
"(The hit) was knee on knee, so it was pretty clear the guy should get five minutes and should be suspended because he could have hit me in the chest," said Jokinen, who didn't play in the third period. "He moved his knee on the last second. It was knee on knee; he tried to take my knee out. He did a good job doing that."
Budaj was back in the crease to begin the second period and he made four saves during the Flames' major power play.
The Avalanche got on the board at 11:09 when Daniel Winnik drove to the net to cash in Kevin Porter's pass on a power play. The Avalanche had gone 0-for-20 with the man advantage over the previous seven games.
Alex Tanguay, who missed the previous three games with a neck strain, increased the Flames' lead to 6-1 at the 40-second mark of the third period. Glencross and Iginla followed with their second goals of the night, after which Anderson replaced Budaj for the second time.
"Tonight from the opening faceoff we weren't ready, including myself," said Budaj, who allowed five goals on 18 shots. "It was an embarrassing night. We didn't show up for each other or the fans. It was tough to swallow. It was one of the worst nights I've ever had. This was like a nightmare because everyone was not ready. I don't think there was one positive thing in the game tonight."
Matt Stajan closed out the rout with a shorthanded goal with 1:05 to go.
Aside from Duchene, the Avalanche lost rookie defenseman Cameron Gaunce to an apparent leg injury in the third period when he blocked a shot.
Shortly after that, Flames coach Brent Sutter gave goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (17 saves) the rest of the night off, sending in Henrik Karlsson to complete the lopsided affair.
"Tonight was completely unacceptable, embarrassing," Stastny said.
1 - 0 CGY