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Avs try to break eight-game losing streak vs. Flames

by John Kreiser

AVALANCHE (13-14-1) at FLAMES (12-13-2)


LAST 10: Colorado 5-5-0; Calgary 5-4-1

Season Series: The season is just nine weeks old, but the Avs and Flames are already meeting for the fourth time this season. The Flames have won the first three, including a 4-2 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Oct. 26, and have won the last eight against Colorado.

Big Story: Two teams on the outside looking in at the top eight in the West are coming off vastly different outcomes. The Avs began a three-game road trip by losing 6-0 in Vancouver on Tuesday night, a game that ended about an hour after the Flames enjoyed their biggest offensive game of the season by beating Carolina 7-6.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: The Avs did a lot of things right in Vancouver on Tuesday, but fell apart in the third period by allowing four goals. That loss ended a three-game winning streak, and the Avs have no desire to see a loss turn into a losing streak -- especially against a team that has dominated them.

"These guys have beat us three times already, and it's a team that we should be hungrier to play against," goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere told the Denver Post after Wednesday's practice. "It's a team that's in the division, and we've got to be better in the division. We have to make a statement."

Giguere, who relieved Semyon Varlamov in the third period in Vancouver, will play against the Flames.

Flames: Calgary's offense came alive against Carolina, producing a season-high seven goals, though the Flames had to hold off the Hurricanes in the final minute for the win.

"We played a real solid game, not perfect by any means, but a good game," said captain Jarome Iginla, who scored twice and had an assist. "It got a little closer, but it still feels good and it's important. It's the first one of these three that we want to get on the homestand."

Who's Hot: Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly has four goals and seven points in his last four games. … Brendan Morrison, a healthy scratch for Calgary in the five games before Tuesday, scored twice and had a pair of assists against Carolina.

Injury Report: Paul Stastny (torso) and Ryan Wilson (head) are doubtful for the Avs; neither practiced on Wednesday. … The Flames are without backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson (knee), defensemen Mark Giordano (torn leg tendons) and Anton Babchuk (hand), and forward David Moss (foot).

Stat Pack: Calgary has scored five or more goals three times during its current 4-1-1 stretch after reaching five just once in 21 games. … Calgary has outscored Colorado 33-14 during its eight-game winning streak.

Puck Drop: Colorado defenseman Kevin Porter faces a disciplinary hearing with the NHL after a knee-on-knee collision with Vancouver's David Booth on Tuesday. Porter received a kneeing major and a game misconduct; Booth will be out at least four weeks with a sprained MCL.

Porter was apologetic on Wednesday.

"My older brother played there with him for a couple years, I played against him a couple years, and Matt Hunwick knows him well," Porter told the Denver Post. "He's from Michigan. I'm from Michigan. We know each other. Not close, but friends. It was just an unfortunate play. I'm trying to do my job, play the body, take the man, and he made a quick move and I kind of held my ground. Like I said, it was an unfortunate play. I hope he's OK."

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