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Flames hope to end skid against Avs

by Brian Compton
AVALANCHE (26-34-8) at FLAMES (36-27-9)

TV: ALT2, SNET-Calgary.

Last 10: Colorado 1-8-1; Calgary 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the fifth of six meetings between the Northwest Division rivals. Calgary has won three of the first four showdowns, including a 9-1 rout on Valentine's Day at the Pepsi Center.

Big Story: Calgary was idle on Wednesday night, but the Flames were bounced from the final playoff spot in the Western Conference due to Anaheim's 2-1 victory against St. Louis. Just four points separate the fourth and ninth positions in the conference.

"We have gotten away from our game to some degree," said Calgary coach Brent Sutter, whose team has lost three straight. "You can't play that way this time of year and think you're going to have success."

Team Scope:

Avalanche: The winless skid reached nine (0-8-1) for Colorado on Wednesday night, as the Avs came up short in a 4-2 loss at Vancouver. Joe Sacco's club has earned only one victory in its last 20 games (1-17-2).

"When we get into certain situations we are fragile at times," Sacco said. "We got caught on our heels a little bit in the third and you have to give Vancouver some credit for that. They're a high-power team and their best players made plays when they needed them."

Flames: Calgary suffered a huge blow earlier this week when center David Moss suffered an ankle injury during Monday's practice. Moss, who was centering Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay, is out indefinitely. The Flames are already without Brendan Morrison, so Calgary is now weakened even more down the middle.

"Having two key guys out, it's not the ideal situation for us," center Olli Jokinen said. "But on the other hand, there's no time to feel sorry for anyone in this League. We have to get two points a night and move on. Other guys are going to need to step up."

Who's Hot: Flames forward Alex Tanguay scored his 19th goal of the season Tuesday night, giving him points in back-to-back games.

Injury Report: Colorado is missing Kyle Cumiskey (upper body), Tomas Fleischmann (blood clot), T.J. Galiardi (forearm), Peter Mueller (concussion) and Kyle Quincey (shoulder). Milan Hejduk is day-to-day with a shoulder injury. … Besides Moss and Morrison (knee), the Flames are also likely to be without Daymond Langkow (neck), Raitis Ivanans (head) and Adam Pardy (shoulder).

Stat Pack: Matt Duchene scored for Colorado on Wednesday. It was his first goal since Feb. 12 against Nashville, a span of 10 games. Wednesday's loss was Colorado's first this season when leading after two periods (15-1-0). … Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester played his 496th consecutive game, which sets the NHL record for consecutive games for a defenseman. Bouwmeester started his streak March 6, 2004.

Puck Drop: "I'm not going to sugar coat it, we've lost three in a row now at this time of the season -- it's unacceptable." -- Calgary coach Brent Sutter

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