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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Avalanche

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames got snowed under. The Colorado Avalanche didn’t give them a chance to dig themselves out.

Ryan O’Reilly had two points while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves as Colorado dumped the Flames 4-2 at Pepsi Center on Friday.

John Mitchell, Paul Stasty and Matt Duchene also scored for the Central Division-leading Avalanche, who improve to 13-2-0 on the season. Mike Cammalleri replied with both goals for the Flames, who return to Scotiabank Saddledome after winning just once on a four-game trip away from Calgary.

Looking to conclude their road swing on a winning note, the Flames fell behind the Avalanche early.

O’Reilly gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game, and Stastny went to work early in the second.

On a two-man advantage with both Mikael Backlund and TJ Galiardi in the penalty box, Stastny pulled Erik Johnson’s wide point shot off the end boards and beat Flames’ starter Karri Ramo just 1:09 into the middle frame.

Cammalleri answered the goal five minutes later and brought the Flames back within one. After Jiri Hudler fed Backlund, the pivot found Cammalleri alone at the side of the net for his sixth of the season at 6:07.

It took the Avalanche just a minute to restore the two-goal lead with Mitchell snapping a shot by the glove of Ramo at 7:16.

But again Cammalleri responded, adding his second of the night and seventh of the year after finishing another passing play courtesy Hudler and Backlund at 9:46 to cut Colorado’s lead to 3-2.

The Flames pressed for the equalizer in the third period but Giguere was equal to the task making 10 third period saves, including a glove save off Hudler with 2:35 remaining after the Flames forward pulled Backlund’s wide shot off the boards, spinning and launching a backhander on net.

The Flames couldn’t draw even when pressing with Ramo on the bench either, as Duchene added his 11th of the season into an empty net with just 1.9 seconds remaining in the game for the 4-2 final.


Trailing the Avalanche 2-0, Cammalleri pulled the Flames back to within one, completing a nifty tic-tac-toe play set up by both Hudler and Backlund at 6:07 of the second period. Down 3-1, Cammalleri finished a similar play at 9:46 to again bring Calgary close.


Down 1-0 in the first period, Ramo stared down rookie phenom Nathan MacKinnon in the slot, blockering away his wrist shot midway through the opening frame to temporarily keep the Flames within one.


Just 1:09 after Cammalleri pulled the Flames to within one the first time, Mitchell buried his second of the season to restore Colorado’s two-goal edge, a lead they wouldn’t let slip away against the Flames.


The line of Cammalleri , Backlund and Hudler combined for 15 of Calgary’s 32 shots against the Avalanche. They also combined for all six points on the night.


Lance Bouma and Chad Billins were healthy scratches for Calgary. Lee Stempniak (broken foot), Curtis Glencross (MCL sprain), Mark Giordano (broken ankle) and Christopher Breen (abdominal wall strain) all missed the game due to injury.


After coming off the road for four straight, the Flames return to Scotiabank Saddledome to start a three-game home stand against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. MT, SNET-W).

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