The Calgary Flames used Roman Horak’s first NHL goal and Miikka Kiprusoff’s birthday as motivation to come back from a 1-0 deficit and hand Colorado their first road loss of the season. Rene Bourque scored the game winner and added an empty netter for some insurance late in the third to give the Flames a 4-2 victory.
The Flames found themselves down by one goal midway thorough the first period after Kyle Quincy capitalized on a Colorado powerplay opportunity. Instead of faltering, the Flames came back even stronger and were rewarded for their hard work when rookie Roman Horak scored his first NHL goal on a gritty play at the side of the net. Calgary out-shot Colorado 21-5 in the first period, but it still ended tied 1-1.
Though the Avs got more shots on net, the second twenty minutes belonged to Calgary. Miikka Kiprusoff showed his usual form and stood on his head throughout the entire period, giving his teammates a chance to take the lead. The Horak-Stempniak-Hagman line continued their hard work and ended up finding the back of the Colorado net less than 4 minutes into the period. Stempniak back-handed the puck into the net and gave Horak another assist to go with his first goal. Five and-a-half minutes later, Rene Bourque scored with the man advantage to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
They took that 3-1 lead into the 3rd period and relied on Kipper to keep them in the game when the Avalanche put the pressure on late in the period. Kipper came up with a number of great saves, but Ryan Wilson finally brought Colorado to within one goal with less than 5 minutes to play in the game. When it looked like Colorado had a chance to come back and tie it, Rene Bourque was credited with his 2nd goal of the game after being hauled down while on a breakaway with an empty net. That extra insurance goal was all that the Flames needed to earn their 3rd win of the season and their 6th straight against the Avalanche.
It was definitely a big win for the Flames who have struggled at the start of the season. It hasn’t been for lack of effort, but the team just hasn’t been able to find ways to win. They’re still at the bottom of both the Northwest Division and the Western Conference, but the victory definitely gives Calgary another positive to build on.
The Flames host St. Louis on Sunday and wrap up their season-long, 6-game home stand against the Canucks on Tuesday.