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Avalanche, Flames seek winning efforts

by Davis Harper /

FLAMES (13-20-4) at AVALANCHE (12-21-5)


Last 10: Calgary 2-8-0; Colorado 2-7-1

Season series: Monday marks the fourth and final meeting, with Colorado leading the series 2-1. In the most recent meeting, on March 27, the Flames slipped by the Avalanche, 4-3, behind two goals from Mike Cammalleri.

Big story: The teams with the fewest points in the Western Conference will face off Monday at Pepsi Center, with each desperate for a little traction. The Flames are looking to snap a franchise-record 13-game losing streak away from Scotiabank Saddledome, while the Avalanche want to avoid losing a season-high fifth straight game.

Team scope:

Flames: Calgary's last win came against the Avalanche, but it was a bittersweet evening for the Flames. After the game ended, general manager Jay Feaster announced a deal that would send longtime Flames captain Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh. The Flames have struggled in the ensuing five-game losing skid, a stretch over which opponents are outscoring them 25-10.

Defense has been a cause for concern all season long for Calgary, whose minus-34 goal differential and 3.51 goals-against average are both Western Conference lows. Those woes were on display in the Flames' last outing, a 5-2 defeat at Vancouver on Saturday. In a matchup where both coaches called Canucks goalie Cory Schneider (36 saves) the top performer, Calgary still conceded five goals on just 22 shots.

Avalanche: As tough a stretch as Calgary has faced, Colorado may be able to trump it. The Avalanche are 2-11-1 over their last 14 games, and a League-worst 29 points mean the Avalanche will almost certainly miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third consecutive season. In their most recent outing, the Avalanche lost their 14th straight away from home in a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Phoenix. The Avalanche mustered just 24 shots, and failed to convert on all four man-advantage opportunities.

"It's been a tough stretch here," coach Joe Sacco said. "We're trying to do what we can as coaches to make sure the guys are staying positive and sticking together. This was really the first game in the last while here where we were not really in the game."

Who's hot: PA Parenteau has two goals and five assists against the Flames this season.

Injury report: For the Flames, Curtis Glencross and Derek Smith are both questionable for Monday's game with lower-body injuries. Paul Byron is on the injured reserve with a broken hand. … Chuck Kobasew (back) and David Jones (knee) are questionable for the Avalanche, while Milan Hejduk (shoulder), Paul Stastny (foot) and Ryan Wilson (ankle) are on injured reserve. Steve Downie is out for the season with a torn ACL.

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