DENVER (AP) - One goal won't get Colorado Avalanche forward Marek Svatos out of coach Joel Quenneville's doghouse.
But it's a start. Svatos scored the winning goal 1:24 into the third period and Paul Stastny had two goals and an assist in the Avalanche's 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. Quenneville has tried everything to get Svatos on track - putting him on different lines, even benching him for three games. He's hoping this finally gets Svatos, who scored 32 goals last season, out of his funk.
"I think he needed to score a goal," Quenneville said. "When (scoring) is your bread and butter, hopefully you can feed off of this and be confident in all areas."
Svatos downplayed the goal or its ramifications. All he had to do was glance at his ice time - he only played 6:30 against Calgary - to know there's work to be done to get back in good standing.
"I know I have struggled," said Svatos, who scored his third goal in his last 27 games. "It has been frustrating for the last two weeks. It is nice to get the goal."
Stastny, meanwhile, remains hot. His two power-play goals in the first period gave him 21 goals this season, and extended his point streak to nine games.
He also has 53 points this season, breaking the Avalanche record for the most by a rookie. Former Colorado player Alex Tanguay, who now plays for Calgary, set the mark with 51 in the 1999-00 season.
Stastny's father, Peter, has the franchise record - scoring 109 with Quebec during the 1980-81 season.
"I didn't know about it (the record), but I'll take it as long as we got the win," Stastny said.
Kristian Huselius had a goal and an assist for the Flames, raising his season total to five goals and five assists against the Avalanche.
"We always want to win and we didn't," Huselius said.
Tony Amonte and Dion Phaneuf scored in the first period for Calgary.
Peter Budaj has struggled in net against Calgary this season, giving up 13 goals in his last three starts. But on Tuesday night Budaj - after giving up three goals through two periods - finally settled in, stopping 33 shots, including 16 in the third period. He was at his best early in the third period when Calgary had a 5-on-3 advantage. He even took a point-blank shot square in the mask.
"There are games when you don't see enough (shots)," Budaj said. "Tonight, I saw enough."
After the game, Flames captain Jarome Iginla placed the blame for the loss on himself. He drew a holding penalty that led to Svatos' power-play goal.
"It was a dumb penalty by me," he said. "I shouldn't put us in a situation like that. It was just a dumb penalty."
Milan Hejduk added a goal and an assist, and Joe Sakic had two assists.
Calgary and Colorado faced each other for the third time in six days. The teams split two games in Calgary last week.
The Flames and Avalanche have combined for 43 goals in five games this season.
The Avalanche moved out of last place in the Northwest Division because of having more wins than Edmonton. Both have 62 points.
Colorado trails Calgary by eight points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Svatos was just glad to finally contribute.
"It is my biggest goal in the biggest game right now," Svatos said. "It's a good feeling. It is big for me."
Notes: Colorado D Jeff Finger, recently called up from Albany (AHL), made his NHL debut. He played 7:51 with no shots. ... The Avalanche said Tuesday that defenceman Jordan Leopold will miss approximately four weeks because of a fractured wrist. ... Rookie F Wojtek Wolski missed his second game with a concussion. ... With his two assists, Sakic is on a season-high, nine-game point streak. ... Miikka Kiprusoff had 28 saves.