The Colorado Avalanche had the fast start they wanted, but it was a bounce off a Calgary body in the second period that proved to be the difference in the game.
The Flames’ Curtis Glencross deflected a pass from Alex Tanguay off his body and into the back of the net 5:54 into the second period and Calgary held on for the 2-1 victory on Sunday night at Pepsi Center.
“I kind of tried to cradle it to go around him (the Colorado defenseman), and it actually hit the bottom of me pretty hard and ricocheted in. I’ll take it,” Glencross said.
Colorado had several good scoring chances for the final 34 minutes of the game, including late in the third period, but the puck didn’t take the same bounce for the Avs as it did for the Flames.
“We came awfully close there,” said Avalanche center Matt Duchene of the team’s chances in the third period. “We had some plays right in front of the net that could have easily gone in, but they didn’t. It is disappointing.”
The Avs began the scoring just 34 seconds into the first when Paul Stastny picked up a rebound from a shot by Shane O’Brien, and back handed it past Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff for the goal and the early lead.
“When you don’t get the rebound, there isn’t much you can do,” said Kiprusoff, who made 32 saves in the win. “He was right there and scored. That happens sometimes.”
It was the fastest goal Colorado has scored all season, and it was the fastest score to start a game by an Avs player since Dec. 19, 2009, when Chris Stewart scored 21 seconds into Colorado’s 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center.
Calgary tied the game at one less than five minutes later when Mark Giordano’s shot from the left flew past what appeared to be a screened Semyon Varlamov and into the back of the cage.
The Avalanche will now head to Detroit on Tuesday where they will take on the Red Wings at 5:30 p.m. MT. The Wings defeated the Avs on opening night and Colorado will look to return the favor in the second of four games between the Western Conference rivals.
Colorado’s next home game will be on Thursday against the New York Islanders before they play Calgary again on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. MT.
More Points For Dutchy
added an assist on Stastny’s goal in the first period. It was his fifth point in the last two games. Duchene has picked up points in four of the last five contests, totaling seven points (four goals and three assists).
He also takes sole possession of the team’s scoring lead with 11 points (five goals and six assists), breaking a tie with Ryan O’Reilly (two goals, eight assists) coming into Sunday’s game.
Shane O’Brien set a single-game career high with six shots-on-goal tonight…His previous high for shots was five set on Dec. 31, 2006 at Minnesota.
Kyle Quincey appeared in his 199th career NHL game, one shy of 200.
Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff appeared in his 539th career game tonight, moving into sole possession of 50th place all time by an NHL goaltender…He entered tonight’s contest tied with Marty Turco.
The Flames’ Jay Bouwmeester played in his 519th consecutive game, extending his NHL record iron man streak for a defenseman.