NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Colorado
(Friday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Calgary 2, Colorado 1
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Miikka Kiprusoff made 35 saves and Rene Bourque provided the game-winner early in the third period, as Calgary defeated the stumbling Avalanche, 2-1, to pull even with Colorado for the West's final playoff spot.
One year removed from a last-place finish in the conference, Colorado finds itself in a dogfight with Calgary for eighth place thanks to an untimely 1-6-1 stretch.
The Flames have only four games remaining, while the Avalanche have a game in hand and currently hold all three tiebreaking scenarios, including wins (41-40), head-to-head points and goal differential. Despite Friday's disappointing setback, Colorado still took four of six from Calgary in the season series.
Nigel Dawes also tallied for the Flames, winners of three straight.
T.J. Galiardi lit the lamp for Colorado, which got 25 saves from Craig Anderson.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, during which Colorado killed off two penalties, the Flames drew first blood on an odd-man rush.
David Moss skated down the right side and dished across to Dawes, who took a few strides before firing a shot earmarked for the top corner of the net at 2:28 of the second period.
Bourque gave the visitors a two-goal cushion, deflecting a Cory Sarich shot from the point behind Anderson 2:11 into the third.
"We had a good shift below the goal line, and I just tried to take it to the net. The puck popped out to the point and I got a stick out on (the puck) and it found a way in," said Bourque, who tortured Colorado this season, scoring a team-best six goals against the Avalanche, including both game-winners.
Colorado finally solved Kiprusoff a little over five minutes later. A great passing sequence resulted in Chris Stewart finding Galiardi alone outside the crease. Galiardi hammered home the feed at 7:32.
Kiprusoff made several incredible stops down the stretch to preserve his 35th win of the season, robbing both Ryan O'Reilly and Stewart with the glove, the latter save coming with just under six minutes to play.
"We played our game in the third period," Galiardi said. "Kiprusoff made a couple of huge saves; the one on Stewart and the one on O'Reilly. We've got to play like that the whole game, or else we're not going to win, and we've got to realize that."
Colorado pulled Anderson in the late stages, but failed to muster any quality scoring chances.
All six games in the season series were decided by one goal, with the first five ending in identical 3-2 scores...Flames left winger Eric Nystrom played in his 200th career game...Forwards Brandon Yip and Stephane Yelle both returned to the lineup for Colorado. Yip had been out with a shoulder injury since March 1, while Yelle sustained a leg injury on March 14.
04/03 00:58:19 ET