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2/17 Avalanche at Flames

Just a quick preview of another critical NW match-up. These teams met on Thursday, with the Avs giving a full 60 minute effort and winning 7-5.

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Peter Budaj starts tonight - he's been knocked out of both starts against the Flames this year. The good news is that Budaj has responded well after getting pulled - 2-0 with a .975 save percentage in the next game after getting pulled. Theodore hasn't really played any better against the Flames - he's got a 4.25 GAA and a .845 save percentage against Calgary this year. You might see him tomorrow though; he is 3-0, 1.50 .950 against the Canucks this season.

I mentioned in my recap that I think we'll be back to 6 defensemen tonight, with Vaananen a scratch. That would clear the way for Marek Svatos or Mark Rycroft to play, and you could really make a decent case for either player. As mentioned previously, Pierre Turgeon is on the IR (Calf).
There was a lot of criticism in the Flames community because Jim Playfair had a lot of his best player on the bench late in the game on Thursday. To me, that seemed like an excellent way to get his team fired up for tonight's game.

The Avs have scored 6 PP goals in the 3 games this year against the Flames (although they've allowed 2 SH goals). The Avs PK have given up 3 PP goals, but none in the last 2 games against Calgary. The Avalanche have allowed just 5 PP goals in the last 12 games!