GAME AT A GLANCE
Alive, well and kicking in the Northwest.
The Calgary Flames,
coming off a disappointing 1-3-0 road trip, put together a solid defensive effort in a big game against a Northwest Division opponent they are neck-and-neck with in the playoff race with a 2-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
|Craig Conroy and Owen Nolan |
First period goals courtesy of Craig Conroy and Daymond Langkow, both on the power play, got the offence going.
Throughout the ice, however, the Flames had support on the defensive side of the puck as they turned in one of their best defensive efforts in some time.
The Flames outshot the Avs in all three periods and 28-16 on the night.
The Avs pressured in the final 30 seconds of the game but, with a little more than a second left in the game, Conroy, who was terrific in the face-off circle all night, won the draw to give the Flames a much-needed two points and hand the Avs their third straight loss.
The win moves the Flames two points ahead of the Avs and to within a point of first place in the division, one behind Minnesota, setting up a big game on Saturday at the 'Dome between those two teams.
Post-Game with Mike Keenan
Flames coaches were particularly pleased with the effort from the Wayne Primeau- Stephane Yelle - Matthew Lombardi line combination. Lombardi, on a couple of rushes, used his speed extremely effectively -- drawing a key penalty during a penalty kill in the first period.
“Well when he (Lombardi) was skating like he was tonight first of all as a penalty-killer and secondly he can draw penalties back for us because of his speed," said head coach Mike Keenan. "He demonstrated that well tonight and that’s what his speed means, he can draw penalties in a penalty-killing situation and probably as importantly, come up with offensive opportunities as well without risking anything defensively.”
“They’ve (Yelle-Lombardi-Primeau) been playing well for the past two weeks if not a little longer as a group of three," added Keenan of the line. "They’re supporting each other really well on the ice, they’re generating some offensive chances and I’m sure they would feel better if they could finish some of them off but they’re an effective line because they can check well and force the play in the offensive zone, which means time around the opposition net and also time out of our zone, which gives our defense crew some rest.”
The Avs, meanwhile, were disappointed in they couldn't generate offence against the Flames.
“Tonight was one of those games in the offensive zone we didn’t get the puck – wasn’t like the other game in Minnesota where we had the puck and generating and making plays – tonight it was pretty dry in generating scoring chances and making plays down in their end," said head coach Joel Quenneville.