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Avs rally for yet another victory @NHLdotcom
The Colorado Avalanche continued its astonishing run to start the 2009-10 season on Wednesday night, rallying from that early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 3-2 before a sold-out crowd of 19,289 at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Wojtek Wolski's eighth goal of the season, worthy of its own highlight reel, capped the Avs' comeback and ran Colorado’s league-leading record to 10-1-2 with its second win in as many nights in Alberta.

"It would have been easy for our guys to say, 'You know what? We'll get 'em next time,'" said Avs rookie coach Joe Sacco, whose club is off to the best start in club history since the franchise moved to Denver from Quebec City in 1995. "But that's not the way we are. We're resilient.

"We find ways to win, sometimes, even when it's not pretty. And we did that tonight. Like we've done all year, we stuck with it. We have guys in the locker room who don't quit."

The Flames were up 2-0 Wednesday before many of their fans had found their seats. That early two-goal bulge, in fact, represented the fastest two goals to start a home game in Flames franchise history.

Fifty-five seconds in, captain Jarome Iginla stepped across the blue line and let go a wrister, which hit the leg of Colorado defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and slipped through the pads of Craig Anderson for Iginla's fourth goal of the season.

Then, at 1:10, Olli Jokinen circled behind the Avs' net, stopped in the left corner, went to his forehand, and directed a shot into the crease, where it again hit Cumiskey and caromed into the net.

"Every time we come into Calgary, they try to throw everything at you right away," Avs forward David Jones told "That's what they did. We were obviously a little bit down on the bench, but you just try and get back at it and stick to the game plan. That's what we did. Andy came up with some big stops, and we got some key goals at some key times."

Wednesday's early events didn't shake Anderson, who has developed overnight into one of the NHL's premier puck stoppers. The 28-year-old from Park Ridge, Ill., a former Calgary draft choice, turned aside the next 28 shots the Flames directed his way.

The Flames (7-3-1), who outshot the Avs 32-14, saw a three-game winning streak grind to a halt. Anderson, who'd already set a franchise record for most wins by a goalie in October with nine, now has 10.

"We just hit the reset button and got back at it," said Anderson, who stood his ground over the final six minutes as the Flames clogged the crease and threw the puck on net at every opportunity. "We take it one game at a time. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

"From the start of the year, it's always been to focus on the task at hand and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow."

"We find ways to win, sometimes, even when it's not pretty. And we did that tonight. Like we've done all year, we stuck with it. We have guys in the locker room who don't quit."
-- Avs coach Joe Sacco

The Avs narrowed the gap to 2-1 at 7:53 of the first when Brett Clark's shot from the center of the blue line deflected off teammate David Koci and into the far corner of the net behind Miikka Kiprusoff.

Then, at 16:38 of that opening frame, Jones chased down the rebound of a Ryan O'Reilly shot, which had hit falling Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the slot, and took a couple of whacks at it before finally getting it over the goal line.

"We had a good start to the game . . . then we backed off and allowed them to carry the play," said Calgary coach Brent Sutter. "We recovered the last two periods, but we didn't really do enough to score here tonight. We didn't go to those certain areas you need to get into during a tough game like this. We had a lot of outside shots, and they blocked a lot of shots (19). Give them credit."

Wolski capped the scoring, and broke that 2-2 tie, at the 5:31 mark of the third period on a beautiful individual play, after the Avs had caught the Flames on a line change. Wolski stepped between Flames forwards Daymond Langkow and Nigel Dawes. He skated through the slot alone, waited out Kiprusoff, and buried the puck off the goalie's blocker, chest-high, inside the left post.

"I just tried to take it to the middle of the ice. (Milan) Hejduk and (Paul) Stastny were going to the net, and that created a lot of space," said Wolski. "A lane opened up, and I just tried to make the best play out of it."

Groaned Sutter: "A terrible goal to give up. Everyone on the ice is standing there, watching someone walk into the slot and shoot the puck."

-- Todd Kimberley,
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