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Flames 5, Avalanche 2 @NHLdotcom

DENVER (AP) -Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff had it easy for two periods. The Flames goalie faced only seven shots while his team built a big lead against the Colorado Avalanche.

"It is a different game, but you can't complain," Kiprusoff said after a 5-2 victory Saturday night. "You have to stay focused and ready in case the other team picks it up."

The Avalanche did turn it on in the third period, scoring twice, but Kiprusoff finished with 21 saves.

"In the third period, that's what usually happens," Kiprusoff said. "Teams take more chances and when we're playing to keep a lead."

Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist, and Daymond Langkow, Adrian Aucoin, Stephane Yelle and Craig Conroy also scored for Calgary, which has split its last four games. Jarome Iginla and Cory Sarich each had two assists.

"We played consistently, particularly in the first 40 minutes," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "We wanted to come in here and play a solid game, and overall it was a good effort."

Joe Sakic and Brad Richardson scored for Colorado, which managed only 23 shots in losing for the fifth time in six games. The loss denied Colorado of its 500th regular-season victory since moving to Denver for the 1995-96 season, and left coach Joel Quenneville one shy of his 100th win with the Avalanche.

"It was a stinker," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said of his team's performance. "We needed to be good in a lot of areas to beat that team and we weren't."

Calgary outshot Colorado 12-4 and outplayed the sluggish Avalanche in the first period in building a 2-0 lead.

Langkow put the Flames ahead 1-0 with a backhander past Jose Theodore after teaming with Iginla on a give-and-go play at 8:04 of the first period. Kiprusoff stopped a two-shot flurry in Calgary's end to set up an odd-man rush.

Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles set up the Flames' second goal by sending a pass directly to Sarich at the blue line. Sarich found Lombardi in front of the net and Lombardi easily tapped the puck past Theodore at 18:46.

The Flames continued their barrage against Theodore in the second period, outshooting Colorado 15-3 and adding two more goals in the second period.

Aucoin sent a one-timer over Theodore's glove at 7:28 with the teams skating four a side. Colorado turned the puck over in its end and Yelle, a former Avalanche player, sent a wrist shot just under the crossbar at 10:24 to make 4-0.

The only life the Avalanche displayed in the period was when Scott Parker and Calgary's Eric Godard exchanged blows behind the Flames' net. Both received fighting majors and Parker drew a game misconduct.

"The low shots allowed was really an exclamation mark on the first 40 minutes," Keenan said. "There are not too many places in the league where you can shut a team like that down."

Sakic ruined the shutout bid at 3:17 of the third period with his sixth goal, but Conroy answered for Calgary with his fourth goal at 7:44.

Richardson scored for the Avalanche at 15:21.

"The way we lost and the way we came out and played is unacceptable," Sakic said. "It was just an embarrassing performance for us."

Notes: Colorado's season low is 18 shots against Dallas on Nov. 16. ... The teams exchanged words, but no punches in front of the penalty box at the start of the pre-game skate. ... D Rhett Warrener was held out of the third period for Calgary with a leg injury. ... Calgary was 0-for-5 on the power play and is 2-for-31 in its past nine road games. ... Sakic's goal was his first goal in 12 games. ... The Avalanche were 0-for-4 on the power play after going 0-for-20 on their recent four-game road trip.

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