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Game 70 Preview: Flames at Avalanche

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Calgary Flames
7 MT / 9 ET / 2 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
34-26-9 March 17, 2010
77 pts Pepsi Center
86 pts
9th in West
Denver, CO
5th in West



Seventeen points is what the Avalanche need to essentially guarantee a playoff spot. The Flames can get to a maximum of 103 points this year, so 17 points by the Avs in their final 13 games will punch their playoff card. Every point the Avalanche earn the rest of the way (or not earn, if you've watched them play lately) will lower that number. Every point that Calgary leaves on the table the rest of the way will lower that number. A regulation win tonight will reduce the magic number to 13 points.

A regulation win would also solidify the Avs in that all-important 4th / 5th seed in the Western Conference.  A first round match-up against the Coyotes is MUCH more desirable to one against the Sharks, Blackhawks or Canucks. The Avalanche are a point ahead of the Kings, but LA plays two more times (Chicago and the Islanders) between tonight and the Avs' next game on Sunday.

If you are a betting person, but a fiver down on a 3-2 Avalanche win tonight. That's been the outcome of each and every game against Calgary this year. This is probably a good place to mention that the Avalanche are 37-5-3 when they score 3+ goals and 3-18-3 when they score 2 or less. Or that they are 27-3-0 when they allow 2 or less goals and 13-20-6 when they allow more than 2. So, a 3-2 win is right in the Avs' wheelhouse. This is a different Flames team, of course; the Avalanche haven't played the Flames since the big Phaneuf trade. Oh, and this is probably a good place to mention that the Flames have lost a spot in the standings since that trade; they we're in 8th when they made that deal. Ha ha.

Paul's got the recap tonight. Go Avs!

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