19:37 Sakic, Brunette and Wolski start the game and immediately put pressure on the Flames
19:00 As expected, Marek Svatos skates with Paul Stastny and Ryan Smyth in place of the injured Milan Hejduk (back). Thankfully, the "M" in Marek means that the RPM line is intact.
18:40 On the Flames bench, Mike Keenan, owner of the NHL's Guy Who's Ridden the Coattails of One Accomplishment the Longest award.
17:34 Mike Haynes reports that Ian Laperriere is playing on the 2nd line while we see the graphic go by showing Lappy on the 3rd line (and while Lappy is on the ice skating on said 3rd line). Didn't get the memo, I guess.
17:15 Mick McGeough theatrically announces a hooking penalty to Adrian Aucoin.
16:28 Sakic gets a hooking penalty of his own, negating the powerplay
16:12 Right away Andres Erikkson, who is built like a pony keg (not a compliment), trips Jaroslav Hlinka to put the Avs on a 4 on 3.
13:40 Guite races in 2 on 1 with Wyatt Smith.
13:06 Flames score. Iginla feeds Dion Phaneuf at the blueline and Phaneuf skates in past Wolski, Sauer and Leopold on his own and puts it past Budaj. Beautiful play for Phaneuf…ugly play for the Avs.
12:19 Flames score to make it 2-0. Haynes announces "save made, but there will be a penalty"…to which McNab calmly says, "that's a goal, Mike". Liles tries to block a centering pass, and ends up bowling over Budaj. Meanwhile, Skrastins loses his man, Marcus Nilson. Nilson scores easily.
10:46 Avs first line works to get some momentum back.
10:45 Joel Quenneville is not wearing the pink tie he wore in the last two home wins.
9:55 I've seen the 4th line out a couple of times, but I don't believe Scott Parker has been out either time. Perhaps Quenneville is saving him for the 3rd period like he did on Saturday. Terrific comment on the HF Boards about Parker's bloody mouth on Saturday, paraphrased something like "did he get cut or was that something he was eating." I'm still annoyed about Westcott getting away with it, but that's funny.
8:55 Speaking of getting away with it, Ryan Smyth gets patched up on the bench after Robyn Regher elbows him in the face. No penalty.
8:07 The Avalanche look very poor defensively so far.
7:38 Hlinka makes Corey Sarich look silly on a break to the net.
5:55 Scott Parker makes an appearance on the ice.
4:40 Beautiful glove save from Budaj
4:39 Owen Nolan is ONLY 35? I had no idea.
1:47 Lappy and Phaneuf get together after a whistle. Lappy is jawing the whole time, no doubt reminding Phaneuf of the beatdown he laid on him last April.
1:04 Ugly. 3-0. Sakic gives it away to Iginla all alone in front of the net. Hannan is the intended target, but the puck misses him entirely and goes right to Iginla. This is not going well.
:50 And the Flames get a PP when Stastny gets called for hooking.
19:54 The 2nd frame starts off with Brett Clark turning the puck over. Not exactly the turnaround the team needs
17:10 4-0. Iginla roasts Budaj. The team looks awful. Budaj gets yanked because there's not enough players to yank all the defensemen. Jose Theodore gets his first action of the year in Denver. (On the ice, I mean).
16:54 4-1! The Avs score right away. Ryan Smyth fires it from the faceoff circle. The puck seems to deflect in off of Robyn Regehr's leg. Marek Svatos is tangled up with Regehr, but I don't think the puck made contact with him.
14:40 Godard and Parker fight at center ice. The two circle a bit and then Parker takes a swing and grabs Godard's jersey. Godard immediately adopts a "get me the fuck out of here" stance and falls to the ice at his earliest convenience.
12:05 Colorado kills off their 11th straight penalty. That's great, but I have to say I don't think they've looked all that sharp in the last two games. Not terrible…but I don't think the PK troubles are over by any stretch of the imagination.
10:06 Somehow, Smyth and Stastny found themselves alone in front of Kipper. Kipper makes a gorgeous stop on Smyth from point blank.
9:48 and then….4-2! Smyth fires it from the circle. Kipper makes the save, but the rebound goes right to the skate of Eriksson. The bounce trickles past Kipper and into the net. Odd goal, but we'll take it. For the 5th time in 4 home games, an Avalanche player has scored at least 2 goals (Sakic, Stastny, Hejduk, Hejduk and Smyth).
7:58 Iginla tags Hannan in the face with a high stick. It comes at the end of a great stand by Theo. Double minor on the Iginla penalty.
7:16 4-3! On the PP, Brunette centers it towards Ryan Smyth. Instead of hitting Smyth, the puck hits Aucoin's skate and goes into the net. A Flame has been the last guy to touch all 3 Avalanche goals. Key on the play was a Paul Stastny faceoff win to keep the puck inside the offensive zone.
5:11 Stastny misses a chance to tie by inches.
4:49 Haynes: "It's like shirts and skins out there right now. Pond hockey." He's right – it's back and forth like crazy.
3:43 Wow. 4-4. Wolski makes a play, hustling down to the corner against two Flames. He forces a turnover and centers the puck. Sakic races in but can't get there in time, and the puck makes it all the way to the point, where Kurt Sauer winds up and buries the puck 5 hole. Kiprusoff looks stunned after the play. I wish they could get a reaction of Mike Keenan. Crazy game. So far tonight, we've had 1st goals of the season from Phaneuf, Nilson, Brunette and Sauer. Theodore will now be the goaltender of record.
1:11 Great Altitude stat: Sauer is the first Avalanche defenseman to score a goal this year. The Avs were one of 3 teams (SJ and TB were the others) without a goal from their D.
1:03 Sauer draws a penalty – holding on Nilson.
20:00 Ryan Smyth has ELEVEN shots on goal tonight. Wow. The Avs have a 29-17 shot advantage.
18:16 Calgary is coming out hard in the 3rd.
16:42 Svatos gets stoned by Kiprusoff (on the ice, I mean)
15:12 Wolski makes a beautiful pass to Brunette in front. Brunette also finds a wide open Sakic in front of an open net, but Kipper is able to kick it away.
14:18 Another penalty for the Flames, Iginla for tripping.
12:11 Wolski steals the puck from Owen Nolan behind the Colorado net.
10:55 Penalty on Laperriere for hooking.
9:06 The PP is almost over. The Avs PK looks much better on this one; more aggressive and much more mobile.
8:53 Just as Lappy is coming out of the box, Smyth steals the puck at the blueline and the Avs break out 2 on 1, with Sakic joining the rush to make it 3 on 1. Smyth dishes to Sakic who puts it back to Smyth who centers to Lappy at the net. Kipper absolutely robs Laperriere of a goal.
7:30 Svatos makes a good defensive play, getting back to get his stick on a Nilson shot.
6:19 Theo robs Tanguay after a defensive zone turnover.
5:07 I believe the Avs have just two shots in the period – one from Svatos and one from Lappy. Both were incredible chances with even incredibler saves from Kipper (yep, I know it ain't a word).
3:48 Stastny gets hit hard into the boards and is slow to get up afterward
2:16 Sauer rides Lombardi around the back of the net, with his stick right in Lombardi's midsection. To help draw the call, Lombardi takes his off hand and grabs Sauer's stick to keep it firmly in place. The ref with the best view of the action doesn't call it, but Mick McGeough, well away from the play, sees one more opportunity to get his fat mug on TV. Sauer really earned the call…but Lombardi should have been called as well. This will be the most important kill of the year so far for Colorado.
1:44 I have butterflies. It's freaking game 6.
:37 Iginla shoots it. Theo stops it with his glove, bobbles it, stops my heart, and freezes the puck.
:16 Cleared by Skrastins…great kill. First OT of the year for Colorado, 3rd for Calgary.
4:10 The Avs look tired out there. After the frantic pace of the game, I don't blame them one bit.
2:59 Big save from Theodore. I don't really want this game to end. I wish OT was longer. When I'm commissioner, I'm making OT 20 minutes and killing shootouts. Meanwhile, Quenneville is livid about something on the bench.
:4 With 4 seconds left, Clark gets a penalty for slashing. Shortest PP ever.
0:00 Guite wins the draw. Flames do get one shot off as time expires.
Wolski, Smyth and Sakic for the Avs. The Avs go first.
Wolski 3-6…dekes Kipper right out of the net and had an easy tap in.
Paneuf, 0-3…Theodore stops him.
Smyth 5-17…makes a little move and slides it past Kiprusoff. A few people throw hats on the ice for the non-hat trick.
Iginla 4-13…a save here wins it. Iginla scores. No hats for get thrown on the ice for him.
Sakic 4-15…this could win it. He gets Kipper to the ice, but he shoots it high.
Tanguay 5-13…save Theo! Avalanche wins! Man, what a huge game.