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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Avs

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames





DENVER--The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 at the Pepsi Center Sunday in a battle for first place in the Northwest Division.

After a start that was hampered by penalties the Flames got on track and dominated the third period. They nearly battled back from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime, scoring a power play goal in the third and then coming close in the dying seconds of the game.

Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano scored for the Flames. The Avs got goals from Wojtek Wolski, Darcy Tucker and Chris Stewart to claim thier third win in as many games against the Flames this season. All three wins have been by identical scores of 3-2.

The Flames were outshot 20-6 in the first period, a period they spent killing penalties. Of the 20 shots the Avs had in the first, 12 came on the power play, which included a five-on-three that led to the lone goal of the period, a Wojtek Wolski blast from the top of the circle through traffic that beat an otherwise splendid Miikka Kiprusoff who made 32 saves in the game.

In all the Flames were shorthanded five times in the period and had no power plays of their own.

The Flames complete this two-game road trip in St. Louis on Tuesday. Gametime is n the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Game time is 6:00 p.m. MST on Flames PPV & The FAN 960.

The Flames didn't start like they wanted to because of too many penalties and that seemed to put the Flames off their flow throughout the game. While they had a spirited effort in the third period it was too little too late.

Forward Craig Conroy, who missed two games with an injury, returned to the line-up against the Avs. D Cory Sarich and D Adam Pardy did not play because of injuries. Conroy centered a line with Curtis Glencross and Eric Nystrom. The Flames healthy scratch was F Brandon Prust...Late in the game Eric Nystrom was placed on the top line with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen and had several effective shifts...

The loss was just the fourth in regulation on the road (11-4-4). The Flames entered the game as the No. 1 road team in the league with the most wins and the most points. The penalty killing unit ranked second overall on the road...The Flames scored on the power play for the first time in six games...Rene Bourque led the way offensively with a goal and an assist...Jarome Iginla paced the Flames with four shots. Chris Stewart had six shots on goal for the Avalanche...The Flames now have three players with nine goals apiece, Rene Bourque, Nigel Dawes and Daymond Langkow...

Miikka Kiprusoff was again excellent in the Flames net making a number of big stops, partiuclarly in the first period when the Avs were on power plays. Craig Anderson, a Flames drft pick in 1999 who re-entered the draft two years later, made a terrific pad save on Dustin Boyd on a breakaway to keep the score at 1-0
Avs d-man Jean-Michael Liles took a Dion Phaneuf slap shot off the head. He had to leave the game briefly but did return...There were two fights in the first period. One was expected as heavyweights Brian McGrattan and David Koci dropped the mitts the first chance they got. McGrattan took the fight to Koci. Later in the same period Jarome Iginla and Cody McLeod fought in the Flames zone. Basically a draw...Craig Conroy did not see much ice time in the third period but early indications were that he did not suffer another injury...


Wojtek Wolski
Strong offensively for the Avs
Miikka Kiprusoff
Another strong effort without a win
Rene Bourque
Goal and an assist for the Flames

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