Flames head home after a 2-1 win in Denver


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AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 32 of 33 shots and the Calgary Flames held off a late push from the Colorado Avalanche to win their 2nd meeting of the season 2-1. This is Kipper’s 8th consecutive win against the Avs and the Flames 7th in a row.

Colorado opened the scoring 34 seconds into the first period when Paul Stastny chipped a rebound into the Flames net. Mark Giordano had Calgary’s answer less than 5 minutes later and fired a harmless looking shot from the point over Semyon Varlamov’s shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.

The 2nd period was dominated by the Flames and while they only out-shot the Avs 11-9, they ended up scoring the go-ahead goal mid-way through the frame. Curtis Glencross was in the right place at the right time when Alex Tanguay fired a shot that went off him and into the Avs net. Glencross’ 4th goal of the season put the Flames ahead for good, but they had to work to maintain the lead.

The Avalanche came back hard, and as they often do, The Flames relied on their goaltending to seal the win. This time, Kipper had some help from his teammates, especially Derek Smith, who stopped a sure goal with his shoulder in the 2nd period to keep the Flames ahead. Kipper gave him a nice little tap when he realized that Smith had kept the Avs from tying the game.

Surprisingly, the Flames sealed the victory by digging down during the last 5 minutes of the game instead of allowing Colorado to keep pressing on offence. What we’re used to seeing is a Flames team that collapses in their own zone and allows the other team to continue shooting on net over and over. The result is usually a game-tying goal. Fortunately for Flames fans, that didn’t happen today. Calgary actually went on the attack as the 3rd period neared its end and got a couple good chances to increase their lead. They kept control of the puck a little more than they usually do and killed a lot of time off the clock. This is an important development for the Flames as they need to control the play a bit more and give their goalies a break at the end of tight games.

The win brings Calgary back to .500 hockey and sends them home with 4 of a possible 6 points on this road trip. Their next game is at home on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

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