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Flames' Glencross questionable to face Avalanche

by Aaron Vickers
If the Calgary Flames hope to avoid a season-high three game losing streak against the division rival Colorado Avalanche tonight, they may have to do it without a key contributor.

Curtis Glencross, whose 3 goals are enough for a share of the team lead with Rene Bourque, is questionable for the game. He did not practice with the team Tuesday, citing lower-body soreness, but participated in today's optional skate.

"We need him to play like he can," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "We don't want to have him playing if it's something where he's only playing at a part capacity he can play at. He'll let us know. He felt much better today. He wants to give it a shot, so we'll make that decision after warm-up."

If he does decide he can go, Glencross will be reunited with Olli Jokinen and David Moss, a line that found its share of success a season ago.

"We're all on the same page," Glencross said. "We have the same mentality of cycling the puck and getting pucks to the net. We make it tough on other team's top lines when we can play a lot of time in their end and keep them out of our zone. Any time we can get it in and cycle the puck around and kill time, that's our job."

The trio had 9 goals and 12 assists against the Avalanche last season, helping the Flames to a five-game win streak over Colorado.

The Avalanche are hoping struggling center Matt Duchene can step up in order to defeat the Flames and extend their personal road winning streak to seven games, which would tie the franchise record set in 1999.

"I think Matty knows that he needs to be better for us and I'm quite confident he will be better," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "He has gotten off to bit of a slow start. The good news is the team has responded well. With him it's a matter of just sticking with it. It's only eight games into the season here. There's still a marathon left."

Duchene, who led Colorado in scoring a season ago, is coming off a season-low 11:35 of ice time in the club's 5-4 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He's expected to skate between Joakim Lindstrom and Chuck Kobasew against the Flames.

"It's only eight games in," said Duchene, who has just 1 goal to start the year. "I don't think you can classify it as a bad start until game 20. Hopefully I can recover and help this team, but we're winning so they haven't really needed anything from me yet. Hopefully when they do need it I can help out."
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