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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Avs

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

TAKEAWAY ONE: Kotalik returns

After playing 18 games with the Abbotsford Heat, Ales Kotalik was recalled earlier this week to help filll the holes the Flames have up front.

Kotalik was on fire with the Heat, notching 19 points during his AHL stint and he immediately helped out the Flames offensively. He assisted on Mark Giordano's power play tally at 4:15 of the first period. It was his first helper in 21 games with the Flames this season.

In the third period he gave the Flames a three-goal cushion after burying a beautiful pass from Niklas Hagman. He now has four goals with Calgary this season.

TAKEAWAY TWO: Tip-top power play

The Flames own the third best power play on home ice and they demonstrated that prowess early on.

Cody McLeod tripped up Steve Staios in the Avs zone at 2:05 of the first period. The Flames power play started off shakily and Colorado was able to get a two-on-one chance. However, they shot themselves in the foot during their scoring opportunity as Ryan O'Reilly was nabbed for goaltender interfence after running over Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Flames connected during their 1:04 5-on-3 opportunity when Jarome Iginla took an incredible pass from Alex Tanguay and wired it past Peter Budaj for his 31st goal of the season. Shortly after, Mark Giordano took advantage of distracted Budaj and threw in his seventh of the year.

TAKEAWAY THREE: Second period shutdown

The Flames second periods have sunk them recently but they put those demons to bed against the Avs.

The Flames were able to clamp down defensively and only allowed four shots on net during the middle frame. The Avs were either held outside the zone thanks to excellent blueline coverage or the Flames pushed them to the boards when they were able to enter the zone.

Tim Jackman was called for interference in the stanza but Colorado's power play sputtered thanks to excellent penalty killing from the home side.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Another night, another record

Iginla has had quite the season when it comes to milestones.

Earlier in the month, he became just the 10th player in NHL history to record 30+ goals in 10 consecutive seasons. On Thursday, he added his name to another list thanks to his 32nd goal of the season.

Iginla now sits in the NHL's top 50 goal scorers with 473 career tallies. He's tied with Alexander Mogilny and Denis Savard for 50th on the list.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: Back in the playoff picture

With the win, the Flames have put themselves back in playoff hunt. They now have 83 points on the year and are sitting in eighth spot.

Trailing them by a single point are the Nashville Predators, who have two games in hand on Calgary. The Flames are trailing the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars by one point.

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