The Avs road win streak hit a road block tonight in Calgary as the Flames early attack was enough to keep Colorado at bay and the Avs fell by a score of 4-2. The avalanche played an awful first 20 minutes, a mediocre middle 20 minutes, and a quality final 20 minutes. But unfortunately NHL games require a full 60 minute effort.
First period - The Flames came out on fire and took it to the Avs early. Less than a minute into the game, aggressive forechecking by Calgary led to a sloppy turnover by O'Brien that ended up mere
inches centimeters from becoming a goal. Calgary's momentum led to a Kyle Quincey tripping call (we'll give him a pass as he lost his Grandfather this week. Condolences BMF). The PK looked good though and killed off the early penalty. The shot total halfway through the first period gives you an idea how lopsided the play was: Flames led 12-1 in shots.
But all that Calgarian aggression led to a tripping call in their offensive zone, resulting in an ugly/pretty power play goal by the aforementioned Kyle Quincey, who had snuck in from the point. Johnson let a shot rip from the blueline that found inself onto Stastny's stick. SoS missed a GAPING wide open net, but luckily his miss popped out to the sneaky Kyle Quincey who slammed it home.The Flames would answer back and score their first goal is 17 years (actually 122 mins) on a nice individual play by Horak (his first NHL goal) who outworked Ryan O'Reilly in front of the net. Tanguay credited with an assist on the play - but you already knew that. Shots 21-5 Calgary, but some stellar goaltending from Giguere kept the score tied at 1.
Second period - Lee Stempniak cashed in on a puck that pinballed around Giguere's crease, through several Avalanche players, and onto his opportunistic stick. 2-1 Flames. More hard work from the Flames led to another Quincey penalty - however this one was aided by the weak-kneed Flames player who wilted like a 13 year-old at a Justin Beiber concert the second Quincey looked at him. More hard work and another bouncing rebound led to another Calgary goal. Yes it was a PP goal, but the Avs were outworked on the play - same thing on all three Calgary goals. 3-1 Flames.
A bit later, Matt Duchene (who played the least amount of minutes of any Avalanche forward in the first period) made a nice spin move down low and rang one off the post. That shift energized the boys from Colorado and on the next shift they drew a penalty with their hard work, but 8 seconds into the powerplay an errant Landeskog screen negated the man advantage when the rookie jumped into and landed on top of Kipper.
Third period - At the mid point of the period Duchene threw a puck on net from a bad angle, but a long review confirmed the puck never crossed the line. For the second time in the game, Duchene was inches from a goal. Hopefully these close calls get Boy Wonder rolling again. Minutes later, the Stastny and O'Reilly lines threw down back to back quality shifts, but couldn't beat the Flames' net minder. The boys in burgundy and blue kept coming in waves and after three other Avs players couldn't solve Kiprusoff, Wilson pinched in and scored off a rebound from almost the exact spot as Quincey's goal. 3-2 Flames.
Giggy got.....well, 'himself' with it, and stoned Stempniak on a breakaway with just over two minutes to play. But when the Avs pulled Giguere with just over a minute to play and couldn't hold the puck in, Bourque raced down the ice towards an empty net. Quincey took Bourque down on his way to uncontested glory, resulting in an instant goal. 4-2 Flames.
A bad start and failure to play a full 60 minutes did our boys in tonight.
MHH Avalanche 3 "Stars" of the Night
- Giguere (31 saves, .912 save %)
- Quincey (PP goal, led all players in ice time, a couple bad penalties yes, but at least he was trying out there)
- Wilson (timely goal, big hits)
- Jones - Stastny - Hejduk
- Landeskog - O'Reilly - Winnik
- Lindstrom - Duchene - Kobasew
- McLeod - McClement - Galiardi
- Johnson - Hejda
- Quincey - O'Brien
- O'Byrne - Wilson
Scratches: Mueller, Porter, Hunwick
- McClement sported the rotating 'A' tonight.
- Curse of Former Avs watch: Hannan 0 points, 0 shots. Tanguay 1 assist, 0 shots.
- Calgary was 5-1 against the Avalanche last season. Kipprusoff was a perfect 5-0. Not much has changed.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
Oilers at Avs, Friday October 28th, 7pm.
Story lines: Young Guns vs Younger Guns, Nugent (last year's #1 draft choice) vs Landy (the #2 pick), the return of Cap'n Canada, and can the Avs score a goal at home that isn't a deflection off Ryan O'Byrne's chest?