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Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Calgary Flames (30-23-5-3) at Colorado Avalanche (33-14-10-4).

TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EST.

Just over one week ago, the Calgary Flames had moved up to fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

Things have changed very quickly.

Calgary looks to avoid losing four straight for the first time in more than a year, and snap a five-game winless skid against the Colorado Avalanche when the teams meet for the fifth time this season.

The Flames began a five-game road trip with a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild last Sunday, moving into fifth place in the West. Calgary, which hasn't made the playoffs since 1995-96, hasn't won since.

The Flames have been outscored 9-3 in losing three straight on the trip, including a 3-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Calgary has dropped out of fifth place in the conference, and is now battling four other teams to just stay among the top eight.

"We still have to find ways to win," Calgary leading scorer Jarome Iginla said. "We found ways to win our share this year, and now we are not."

The Flames haven't lost four in a row since Jan. 9-14 of last season, and they haven't beaten the Avs in five straight (0-3-1-1) since a 4-2 win in Denver on Jan. 7, 2003.

Colorado increased its lead in the Northwest Division to five points over the Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 road win over Minnesota on Sunday.

Milan Hejduk scored his team-leading 27th goal, and Joe Sakic and Paul Kariya also scored as the Avs ended a season-high three-game losing streak.

"It was a nice road win," said Avs coach Tony Granato, whose team surrendered 10 goals in losses to Edmonton and Dallas last week. "The penalty kill was very strong and I thought our defense did a great job of relieving any sort of pressure."

The Avs and Flames conclude their season series on March 7 in Denver.

STANDINGS: Flames - 68 points, 3rd place, 12 PB, Northwest Division. Avalanche - 80 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Iginla, 30 goals and 54 points; Iginla and Craig Conroy, 24 assists; Krzysztof Oliwa, 188 PIM. Avalanche - Hejduk, 27 goals; Alex Tanguay, 46 assists and 67 points; Jim Cummins, 131 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 22): Flames - Power play: 16.1 percent (44 for 273), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (215 for 255), 16th. Avalanche - Power play: 22.1 percent (58 for 263), 3rd. Penalty killing: 85.0 percent (232 for 273), 12th.

GOALTENDERS: Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (14-5-2, 1 SO, 1.56 GAA); Roman Turek (4-9-0, 1, 2.73). Avalanche - David Aebischer (26-13-7, 4, 2.06); Phil Sauve (7-5-3, 2.64).

SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 3-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 31; Avalanche, 2-1. At Calgary, Alberta, Peter Worrell and Steve Moore scored their first goals of the season, and Aebischer made 30 saves to lead the Avs.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 14-12-1-2 on the road; Avalanche - 16-10-3-1 at home.

Associated Press
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