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Avalanche-Flames Preview @NHL
Avalanche-Flames Preview

GAME: Colorado Avalanche (9-4-2) at Calgary Flames (9-7-2).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.

Two of hottest teams in the Western Conference will meet at Pengrowth Saddledome when the Calgary Flames host the Colorado Avalanche.

The Flames have won five in a row, needing a victory Saturday to record their longest winning streak since a six-game run from Feb. 2-12, 1994.

Like Calgary, Colorado goes into this matchup with 20 points and seeking its 10th victory. The Avalanche have won seven of eight, scoring nearly 4 1/2 goals per game.

Through Thursday's games, the Avalanche were the league's third-highest scoring team with 65 goals. They've scored a season-high seven goals in a game twice, including once in a win over Calgary on Oct. 10.

The Flames, meanwhile, are among the NHL's lowest scoring teams with 43 goals. However, they're also are among the league leaders in goals allowed, giving up 2.56 per game.

The most dangerous offensive player on the ice Saturday, though, may play for Calgary.

Jarome Iginla goes into the contest with the most points of any player on either team with 17, including five in his last two games.

Iginla scored the winning goal in Calgary's 4-3 win at Phoenix on Thursday, converting a penalty shot for the first time in five career attempts. The right winger also had two assists.

"Jarome played a great game," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "He's probably the best player in the world, and he was on (Thursday night)."

The Avalanche dealt Northwest Division-leading Vancouver its first home loss of the season on Thursday, scoring four times in the first 13 minutes of a 5-3 win.

"We were ready to go," Colorado center Joe Sakic said. "We had our legs going and we were skating well and we probably caught them flat. It was a good start for us."

Avalanche goalie David Aebischer won his seventh consecutive start. He's given up no more than three goals in any of those outings.

Colorado hasn't lost at Calgary since a 2-0 defeat Nov. 10, 2001, posting a win or tie in the last seven meetings there.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 11): Avalanche - 20 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northwest Division. Flames - 20 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Marek Svatos and Antti Laaksonen, 7 goals; Alex Tanguay and John-Michael Liles, 11 assists and 16 points; Ian Laperriere, 34 PIM. Flames - Iginla, 9 goals and 17 points; Iginla, Daymond Langkow and Roman Hamrlik, 8 assists; Darren McCarty, 47 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 11): Avalanche - Power play: 21.0 percent (21 for 100), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.5 percent (84 for 96), 3rd. Flames - Power play: 14.4 percent (17 for 118), 24th. Penalty killing: 78.2 percent (87 for 111), 26th.

GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - Aebischer (8-3-0, 0 SO, 3.10 GAA); Peter Budaj (1-1-2, 2.66). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (8-6-2, 3, 2.35); Philippe Sauve (1-1-0, 3.02).

SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 10; Avalanche, 7-3. At Denver, Svatos scored three goals and Wojtek Wolski added one score and two assists as the Avalanche led throughout to win their home opener.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 3-2-0 on the road; Flames - 6-1-1 at home.

Associated Press

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