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Avalanche say they still fear goal-starved Flames

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said it would be a mistake for his team to take the struggling Calgary Flames lightly Monday at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche are in third place in the Central Division with 26 wins and 56 points in 41 games. They've won three games in a row and are 3-0-1 in the first four games of their seven-game homestand.

The Flames are sixth in the Pacific Division with 14 wins and 34 points. They've gone 1-6-2 in their past nine games and have scored one goal during a four-game losing streak.

"If we think we're going to have an easy game, we're wrong," Roy said. "[Calgary] is a team that's going to work hard. This is a team that's almost in every game. I know a lot of times they finish on the wrong side, but at the same time they're going to work hard and they're going to give us a good battle. We're going to have to be ready for these guys because I expect them to play a good game tonight."

This is the final game between the teams this season. The Avalanche won the first two games, 4-2 on Nov. 8 at home and 3-2 on Dec. 6 in Calgary.

Flames coach Bob Hartley coached the Avalanche for parts of five seasons and guided them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2001. The Flames are rebuilding and, like Roy in Colorado, Hartley is in the process of changing the team's attitude.

"We understand the challenges we're facing," he said. "I understood this from the first day I took the job. For us, the culture we're building right now is more important than the results. Because the culture is what will speed up the process and help us win quicker. So far, we've been happy with the buy-in of our group."

This is the first game of a back-to-back for the Flames, who play the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday. They are 0-2-2 in their past four road games and 7-10-3 on the road for the season.

Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Avalanche:


Mike Cammalleri -- Mikael Backlund -- Jiri Hudler

Paul Byron -- Sean Monahan -- David Jones

TJ Galiardi -- Joe Colborne -- Kevin Westgarth

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Ladislav Smid -- Dennis Wideman

Chris Butler -- Shane O'Brien

Karri Ramo

Reto Berra

Scratched: Derek Smith, Lee Stempniak

Injured: Curtis Glencross (leg), Blair Jones (knee), Kris Russell (knee)

Notes: The Flames announced goalie Reto Berra has been named to the Switzerland Olympic team and defenseman Ladislav Smid was named to the Czech Republic Olympic team. Berra has a 5-11-2 record with a 2.92 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. Smid was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 8. He has one goal and two assists in 41 games. … Hartley was surprised forward Jiri Hudler, who leads the team in scoring with 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists), wasn't named to the Czech team. "The Czechs must be favored to win the gold medal because they must be awfully talented," Hartley said.


Gabriel Landeskog -- Paul Stastny -- Ryan O'Reilly

Maxime Talbot -- Matt Duchene -- Jamie McGinn

Cody McLeod -- John Mitchell -- Nathan MacKinnon

Brad Malone -- Marc-Andre Cliche -- Patrick Bordeleau

Erik Johnson -- Jan Hejda

Andre Benoit -- Cory Sarich

Nick Holden -- Tyson Barrie

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: None

Injured: Nate Guenin (ankle), PA Parenteau (knee), Alex Tanguay (knee, hip)

Notes: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson has been assigned to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League on a two-week conditioning assignment. Wilson played in three games after missing 22 games because of a back injury. He was a healthy scratch the past two games. Wilson has four assists in 13 games.

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