Skip to main content


Avalanche-Flames Preview @NHL

The Calgary Flames won't have to wait long for a chance to exact revenge on the Colorado Avalanche.

The Flames hope to rebound from one of their worst defensive performances of the season Saturday night when they visit the Avalanche in the second of three meetings in five days.

Led by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames (30-20-8) have been one of the league's stingiest teams this season with a 2.58 goals-against average.

Calgary, though, hasn't been quite as sharp of late, allowing a season-high seven goals Sunday at Detroit and matching that total Thursday in a 7-5 home loss to Colorado (28-25-4).

Thursday's defeat was particularly disappointing because Calgary blew a pair of two-goal leads and surrendered a goal in the final minute of all three periods.

"When it is 4-2, it should have been over," said Calgary left wing Alex Tanguay, who had three assists against his former team. "We have been very good at shutting teams down. Tonight we were able to score but we couldn't keep the puck out of our net."

Jarome Iginla and Matthew Lombardi each scored twice for the Flames, who dropped to 1-3-1 in their last five games and failed to take over sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division.

These teams meet again in Colorado on Tuesday. It will be the Flames' third straight game against the Avalanche, who visit Vancouver in between on Sunday.

Calgary had won five in a row in the series before Thursday's loss.

"We get them two more times," Tanguay said. "We have to be ready for Saturday. That is certainly not the effort we were looking for. We knew they would be desperate. They are trying to get back into the playoff hunt. It seemed like we gave them life. They were desperate. They were resilient."

Tanguay, who spent his first six seasons with the Avalanche, has two goals and six assists during a four-game point streak. He has one goal and six assists in three games against his former team.

Kiprusoff has lost two of his last three starts at home after winning 19 of his previous 21 there.

"I'm not happy how I played," Kiprusoff said. "I have to learn from this to be better next game. There's 20-some games left and it's so close. We need the points."

Avalanche captain Joe Sakic made history Thursday, becoming the 17th player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He finished with two goals and three assists, giving him five goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak.

Sakic, who had his first five-point game since Jan. 2, 2001, didn't mind that his milestone goal came into an empty net because it came in a victory.

"The opportunity was there and it's not something that you'd write up, but I'll take it any way I can," Sakic said. "The most important thing is getting the win. We needed it really bad."

Milan Hejduk recorded his first hat trick of the season Thursday and has five goals and four assists in a five-game point streak.

"For me, it's definitely a number that I'm never going to reach," Hejduk said of 600 goals. "For Joe, it's just another number in his great hockey career."

The Avalanche moved within six points of Minnesota for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with their second straight win. They have won a season-best three in a row twice this season.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.