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Avs seek Alberta sweep as they visit Calgary

by John Kreiser /

AVALANCHE (20-12-5) at FLAMES (16-18-3)


Last 10 -- Colorado 7-2-1; Calgary 5-4-1

Season series -- The Northwest Division rivals are meeting for the third time this season. They've split the first two, with the road team winning both. Colorado won 6-5 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 28, but the Flames got some payback with a 4-2 win in Denver on Nov. 9.

Big s tory -- The Avs can breathe a little easier after ending a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win at Edmonton -- a game that saw them blow an early 3-0 lead. The Flames are 14th in the West but are showing signs of life after wins against Dallas and Buffalo.

Team Scope:

Avalanche -- A win is a win, especially when you haven't had one for a while. That's why the Avs weren't complaining too much after blowing a three-goal lead in the shootout win at Edmonton.

"We're happy to come out with the two points," center Paul Stastny said. "I think we took it to them in the first period and then they started taking it to us. We got caught on our heels a little bit. Down the road, they won't look at how we got it, just that we got the two points."

Flames -- Calgary hosts the last game of 2010 after a three-day break following Monday's 5-2 victory against Buffalo. But with the turnover in the front office this week -- Jay Feaster is the new GM after Darryl Sutter stepped down -- defenseman Robyn Regehr said getting back on the ice will be a good thing.

"There has been some stuff off the ice that has been going on," Regehr told the Flames' website. "So I think everyone is really looking forward to getting back and trying to keep some of that momentum we've created in the last couple of games. We've been playing some pretty solid hockey.

"We're trying to stay as positive as possible and trying to stay as upbeat and energetic as possible. We did have some bad news here this week but as players, we can't dwell on that too much ... you can't hang your head and dwell on negative things too long."

Who's hot -- Colorado's T.J. Galiardi had a goal on Thursday and has four in six games since returning from an injury on Dec. 17. … Calgary's Olli Jokinen has 6 goals in his last nine games after scoring twice in his first 25. The line of Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay has 12 points in Calgary's last five games.

Injury report -- The Avs are still without forward Chris Stewart (broken hand) and defenseman Kyle Cumiskey (concussion), though Cumiskey made the two-game trip to Alberta. Colorado center Phillip Dupuis went down behind the play early in the first period against Edmonton and had to be helped off the ice. He didn't return . … Flames defenseman Steve Staios (cracked ribs) is skating again but not ready to play.

Stat pack -- Colorado's Paul Stastny has 299 points (97 goals, 202 assists) in 310 career games. With his next point, he will become the third player from the 2005 draft class to reach 300 points, joining Sidney Crosby and L.A.'s Anze Kopitar. He would become the 11th player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to reach the 300-point plateau -- one of the other 10 is his father, Peter. … The Flames are 12-7-1 when forward Alex Tanguay has a point.

Puck drop -- New Year's Eve games are a staple in Calgary -- and so is winning them. The Flames have won their Dec. 31 game at home in each of the last five seasons. The last visitor to spoil the festivities was Colorado, which won 2-1 on New Year's Eve in 2003.

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