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The Official Site of the Calgary Flames

Game Primer: Flames Head to Denver

by Sue Palanki / Calgary Flames
FLAMES LEADING SCORERS

Regular Season
Player
GP
G
A
P
Iginla 44 18 32 50
Cammalleri 43 19 22 41
Langkow 44 16 21 37

Record: 27-12-4
Season Series: 4-0-0
Last Five: 4-1-0

vs. Colorado Avalanche

Record:
22-22-1
Season Series: 0-4-0
Last Five: 2-3-0
AVALANCHE LEADING SCORERS

Regular Season
Player
GP
G
A
P
Smyth 45 15 18 33
Hejduk 45 14 18 32
Stasny 34 10 21 31

Flames @ Avalanche
6 p.m. MT
Pepsi Center
Denver, CO
TV: Sportsnet
Radio: The Fan 960

THE MATCH-UP
If there’s one team the Colorado Avalanche could choose not to face, it might be the Calgary Flames. The Flames are 4-0-0 against the Avalanche this season, and will try for a fifth victory on Sunday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

However, the Avalanche might have an advantage this time around. The Flames flew to Denver last night immediately following last night’s 3-2 loss against the Phoenix Coyotes. With two back-to-back games, travelling, and lack of sleep, fatigue might be the bigger battle for the Flames.

On the other hand, the Avs have been in a slump as they need a healthier team, improve their special teams, and of course start winning some games especially after losing three in a row including the Edmonton Oilers on Friday where they fell 3-2. Likewise, the Flames stands as the only team the Avs haven’t won at least one game in the Northwest so far.

"I think it shows in the standings the kind of team they are and how they play," said Avalanche coach Tony Granato of the Flames. "They’ re a very confident team, they work extremely hard, play a physical, intense game and have solid goaltending."

Calgary fell to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday snapping their seven home game winning streak. It was the second time they lost in regulation in their last 15 games (11-2-2). Mike Cammalleri scored two goals on Saturday, tying him with Jarome Iginla with goals. Matthew Lombardi also got a goal and assist.

"We had chances right until the end to tie it up. Unfortunately we couldn't get it done," Jarome Iginla said. "…we weren't as sharp probably early as we should have been, and it cost us."

Iginla picked up two assists on Saturday’s game, but hasn’t scored a goal in the last seven games. At this time last year, he had 32 goals and 31 assists compared to this season’s 18 and 32.

Colorado is plagued with injuries with some of their key players including Joe Sakic (back/hand), Paul Stasny (arm), Cody McCormick (foot), Adam Foote (arm), David Jones (back), and Ian Laperriere (back). They are dead last in the Northwest and 12th in the Western Conference.

Peter Budaj will start behind the net in tonight’s matchup. The Slovak goaltender is 4-9-0 in his career against the Flames and has lost all four starts this season against Miikka Kiprusoff.

It is a possibility Flames coach Mike Keenan may start Curtis McElhinney and give Kipper a break. If so, it would be McElhinney’s third start this season and his first time facing the Avalanche.

The Flames will head back home after tonight’s contest and have a couple days off before they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

For the Flames…

Matthew Lombardi
Lombardi

Matthew Lombardi seem to click well on a line with Cammalleri and Iginla. He netted a goal and picked up a +3 in last night's game, and has accumulated five assists in the last five games. He notched his third multipoint game against the St. Louis Blues last Tuesday. So far he has three goals and 16 points in 29 games.

For the Avalanche...

Ryan Smyth
Smyth

Both Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk are in a race to get their 300th career goal. Smyth has 299, and would have loved to get his milestone goal against his former team the Edmonton Oilers last Friday. However, he did celebrate his 100th game with the Avalanche. Smyth has three goals and three assists in the last five games and leads the team with seven power play goals.


PREVIOUS GAME


Calgary 2, Phoenix 3
Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Flames lost for the first time in eight home games as they fell 4-3 to the Phoenix Coyotes. Ex-Flame, David Hale, opened the scoring with his second goal of the year and Peter Mueller made it 2-0 in the second frame before Michael Cammalleri got the home team on the board with his 18th on the year. Oli Jokinen restored the two-goal lead for the Coyotes with an unlucky goal from behind the goal line. Mikkel Boedker gave the Desert Dogs their third two-goal lead of the night when he beat Miikka Kiprusoff high on a breakaway. Cammalleri scored his second of the night on a tip in from a Dion Phaneuf point shot, but it was as close as they would come as Phoenix held on late with Ilja Bryzgalov stopping 29 of 32 shots for the win. Kiprusoff faced 26 shots in a losing effort.

Power Play:0/2 (0%)Penalty Killing : 2/2 (100%)
Shots:Calgary - 32Phoenix: 26
Attendance:19,289
FLAMES MILESTONES WITHIN REACH

Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100
Both Dustin Boyd and Mark Giordano need two games for 100
Jarome Iginla needs eight goals for 400
Matthew Lombardi needs five assists for 100
Cory Sarich needs eight assists for 100

INJURY REPORT

Todd Bertuzzi (groin), Brandon Prust (jaw) and Wayne Primeau (foot) are expected to return later this month, and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) is out indefinitely.

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