Will the Avalanche show up
or melt in the heat?
Flames lead the series
With wins in the first two games
Wins in seven straight.
Kiprusoff in net
Varly on the other end
The victor the spoils
Must start game on time
To extinguish the hot Flames
Lets go Avs, lets go!
Avs start the game putting pressure on the Flames. Just 70 seconds into the game Winnik fires a shot on net with Landeskog in front, but Kiprusoff makes the save. Avs get the first four shots, but then the Flames go the other way with speed and Paul Byron torches the Avs with his first goal of the season, on the first shot of the game for the Flames. Flames with the 1-0 lead at the 2:06 mark. Byron is playing in just his second game this season, and 10th career NHL game. He scored his first NHL goal last season playing for the Buffalo Sabres.
2:34 Landeskog is in front again and draws the ire of the Flames, but nothing comes from the ensuing scrum.
3:48 Derrick Smith approaches the blue line and takes a hit from Ryan Wilson, Wilson takes the worse of the hit as Smith knocks him off his feet.
5:38 Galiardi takes the puck into the offensive zone and tries to dance between two Flames players, Flames steal the puck and head the opposite direction. Tanguay draws both Wilson and Johnson to him, but is still able to get the puck to Iginla who buries it to give the Flames their second goal on just their second shot of the night at 5:47. Yep Flames are shooting 100% so far.
Sacco calls his time just 5:47 seconds into the game to settle down his team...will it work?
Fun fact - In their last two games (since playing the Avs last Sunday) the Flames have been outscored 7-1.
Not so fun fact - Rene Bourque has 13G and 12A vs the Avs.
7:31 O'Brien tries to start some rough stuff behind the net.
8:30 The Thirst line looks hungry, they are putting some serious back pressure on the Flames
11:37 Another rush by the Flames and Varly comes up big, but Landy takes a delayed hooking penalty and the Flames get a couple of big chances while controlling the puck for the next 47 seconds.
First Power play of the game goes to the Flames and we'll see the 21st best power play unit against the 27th best penalty kill. Flames also have the 2nd best road power play unit, behind the Avs.
14:11 The Avs kill the penalty but allow the Flames to rush into the zone again. Kostopolous drives to the front of the net and leaves the puck between the circles where Curtis Glencross rips it past Varly for a 3-0 lead.
15:13 Lindstrom takes a nice shot through the defensman's legs and Kiprusoff snow angels for the save.
17:45 Yet another odd man rush into the zone for the Flames, but Milan Hejduk doesn't cheat and is able to break up the play.
18:54 Landeskog loses his stick behind the net, still kicks the puck out, retrieves his stick and then strips the puck from the Flames. They head the other way and go behind the net where Landeskog puts a pass out to Winnik, who can't settle down the puck, it goes to Landeskog, but his shot is blocked.
The period ends with the Avs out shooting the Flames 10-7, but the Flames continue to torch the Avs on the score board 3-0. So far through 7 periods of hockey the Flames have out scored the Avs 9-2 this season
Avs start the period with a strong shift from the Duchene line. Gali breaks into the zone and drives around the net for a shot.
4:00 Winnik carries the puck into the Flames zone. Smith tries to stand him up at the blue line but Winnik shoves him to the ice.
6:10 With the third line continuing to play with energy Landeskog tries to drive into the zone. He gets tripped up by David Moss and no call is made. The puck is cleared and the Third Line comes back with another rush, Winnik pulls up from the right circle for a shot and Landeskog can't get to the front because of a hook. Again no call is made.
The Avs are sitting back too much in this game. Every time the Avs approach the Calgary blue line they are hit or stood up. At the other end, Calgary is allowed to walk into the Avs zone and set up, their point men have a ton of time and space.
7:50 Duchene carries down the right wing for a shot, but it's too far out and Kiprusoff sees it the whole way.
9:36 Stepniak gets to the puck behind the net with Hejda all over him, however Hedja loses his stick and Stepniak is able to walk out to the circle and back hands the puck past Varly. 4-0 Flames.
9:57 Avs finally get a power pay after Scott Hannan gets caught hooking Hejduk. The Avs #1 ranked power play faces off against the 17th ranked penalty kill. Paul Stastny gets two early chances which would be the Avs only two shots as the power play never gets set up again.
13:26 Milan Hejduk stick handles through the defense and throws a shot on net that bounces around in the air before falling in behind Kiprusoff. The goal would be reviewed as it appeared to have been deflected by a high stick. However the goal would count and the Avs are finally on the board.
Very next shift the Avs are attacking, but the Flames get the puck and as they leave the zone we get a delayed penalty call. Galiardi got tied up in front of the net with Chris Butler, Gali may have pushed Kiprusoff, and he is called for roughing.
20 seconds left on the penalty kill and Varly takes the puck off the head/helmet but play continues as he appears to be OK. Porter takes the puck the other way, goes around the net and passes to Johnson who gets a shot off at the net. Avs take momentum out of the kill but can't get their chances to fall.
18:33 Iginla puts a big blast on net that gets through Varly, but it goes wide. Both teams are playing run and gun and getting quick chances but little sustained pressure.
After 40:00 the Avs are out shooting the Flames 32-16, But the Flames lead 4-1
Last game the Avs finally showed up in the third period and, with a little help from the opposing goalie, were able to come back and tie the game before winning in OT. Could they do it again? They did start to play much better near the end of the second period and have some momentum.
The period starts with Duchene back on Stastny's wing and it pays off. O'Brien sneaks in to the top of the circle and tracks down a puck before giving a pass across to Duchene who blasts it past Kiprusoff just 25 seconds into the period. Score 2-4.
1:48 Avs continue to pressure and Lindstrom has a chances from the left circle. But the Flames get the puck and head the other way. As Stepniak approaches the blue line he gets an elbow from O'Brien at 2:05. The Avs will be on the penalty kill for the third time tonight. However the Avs are very aggressive and Calgary doesn't register a shot on net.
You would think that a big kill would give the Avs momentum, however a poor power play will kill any momentum they should have had. The Avs would get three power plays over a seven minute time frame. First Horak gets called for slashing Duchene's stick at 4:41 and the Avs don't register a shot on net. Then at 8:44 Landeskog gets checked into the Flames net by Giordano who is called for interference. Avs get a couple of chances, but the best chance was for Calgary shorthanded. As the penalty to Giordano is expiring, Duchene gets cross-check in front of the net by Kostopolous. Avs again have no shots on the power play and now Calgary has the momentum. Calgary starts to clog up the neutral zone once again and the Avs are struggling to get possession.
15:25 The Avs finally get a rush, O'Brien carries the puck below the goal line and behind the net before passing to Wilson on the point. Wilson passes over to O'Reilly who puts a blast on net. David Jones is in front and tips the puck past Kiprusoff to get the Avs within a goal.
Avs continue to pressure and are getting some good chances, but Kiprusoff is stopping them all.
19:15 An icing call on the Flames forces them to call their time out with the Avs really putting the pressure on. After the time out Varly remains on the bench for the Avs. Avs win another face off, they've been winning a lot in this third period.
19:25 The puck is shot out of play and after some discussion the officials decide that Jokinen shot it out of play. A delay of game penalty gives the Avs a late power play. Another face off win gets the Avs a couple more chances but kiprusoff won't budge.
19:40 Bourque fires the puck at the open net and misses, the race is on and Duchene just beats Bourque to the puck allowing the Avs to head back the other way for one more chance.
Kiprusoff covers up another chance with 4.2 seconds on the clock. Avs win yet one more face off, but at the point Duchene doesn't get it cleanly. He still gets the puck on net and Kiprusoff juggles it, but the Avs just run out of time.
Avs fall to Flames for the third time this season and the 8th straight time. Their last win was on Oct 28, 2010 and their last home win Dec 13, 2009. Kiprusoff has won 9 straight against the Avs and was the difference again tonight for his team making saves.
Avs lose another game at home while out shooting their opponent 39-20. A very poor first period and allowing 3 goals on 7 chances was too much to overcome.
NHL.com recap and highlights:
The Avs now head on the road for games in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Minnesota on Thursday before returning to the Pepsi Center for an 8 game home stand.