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Avalanche-Flames Preview @NHLdotcom

After they both reached the playoffs in 2007-08, the Colorado Avalanche and the Calgary Flames are the only Northwest Division teams yet to win this season.

That will change for one of these clubs Tuesday as they match up at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Colorado (0-2-0) finished second in the division last season with 95 points and Calgary (0-1-1) was third with 94, claiming the No. 6 and 7 playoff seeds in the Western Conference, respectively.

However, neither club has played particularly well to start this season.

Tony Granato is off to a rough start in his second stint as Avalanche coach. Colorado last opened with back-to-back defeats in 2006-07, the only season in which the franchise failed to make the playoffs since moving from Quebec in 1995.

A loss Saturday would saddle the Avalanche with their worst start to a season since opening with four consecutive losses in 1998-99.

Following a 5-4 defeat to visiting Boston on Thursday, Colorado fell 3-2 at Edmonton on Sunday despite owning a 33-19 edge on shots.

Milan Hejduk, the Avs' leader with 29 goals last season, and Joe Sakic both scored on Sunday, but it wasn't enough as Peter Budaj allowed the deciding goal with 5.4 seconds left in regulation.

"I have to find a way to help the team win hockey games and I have to find a way to make that save when it counts," said Budaj, who has stopped just 31 of the 39 shots he's faced through two games.

Aside from their defensive miscues, the Avalanche haven't been able to capitalize with the power play, converting once in eight chances. Last season, their power-play unit ranked 28th in the league (14.6 percent).

The Flames are 0-for-13 on the power play after failing in seven opportunities in Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss to visiting Vancouver. They couldn't bounce back from a 6-0 road loss to the Canucks on Thursday.

Offseason acquisitions Rene Bourque and Michael Cammalleri contributed a goal and an assist apiece Saturday, but captain Jarome Iginla went pointless and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff couldn't hold a 4-3 lead after two periods.

"We're giving up a lot of point-blank things, bang-bang plays right in front, we're not giving Kiprusoff much of a chance," said Iginla, who finished third in the NHL with a career-high 98 points last season. "We've got to tighten that up, we know we do, and we'll keep working at it."

Calgary, looking to avoid starting with three consecutive losses for a second straight season, lost five of eight meetings with Colorado in 2007-08.

While Budaj is unbeaten in his last four starts against the Flames, Kiprusoff is 3-1-1 with a 1.83 GAA in his last five matchups versus the Avs.

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