November 06 2011 11:35PM
The Calgary Flames didn't necessarily carry the play Sunday night, and they kinda took a page out of their opponents book en route to a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames didn't generate a ton offensively, they scored a powerplay goal, relied on their goaltender, and got back to the .500 mark. No it wasn't pretty, but it got the job done and Calgary has won four of their last six games and come away 2-1 on this three game road trip.
This game didn't start in the fashion the Flames wanted, as they were down 1-0 34 seconds in after losing a faceoff in their own end and standing around. After Miikka Kiprusoff would make the initial save, Paul Stastny would be placed right for his fourth off the rebound. But Calgary responded effectively, carrying the play for a good span and scoring on an odd one themselves at 5:19. Mark Giordano would fire one seemingly no one was ready for, including Colorado tender Semyon Varlamov; Giordano's second of the season had this game tied after one period of play. The Avs won the scoring chance count in the first period 5-2.
The second period saw Calgary's only powerplay of the game, and they'd cash in on it thanks to a Curtis Glencross re-direct in front. Alex Tanguay's shot seemed to glance off the body of Glencross, and his fourth would snap a seven game goalless drough and put the Flames up for the first time. Once again, they'd trail in the scoring chance count after 40, but lead where it mattered, carrying a lead into the third.
Not a ton happened in the third period for the Flames, as they were in defending mode for the most part. Colorado seemed to have the bulk of possession and Kiprusoff had to make some quality saves to keep this game tied, especially as the clock ticked past the halfway mark. In the end, the Avs couldn't solve Calgary's goalie and the Flames did enough to hold on for the win.
One Good Reason...
...why the Flames won? I felt they limited damage. While Calgary was outchanced by the Avalanche and didn't carry the play for the majority of this game, they did a decent job of keeping their opponent to the outside and then cleared things very quickly when opportunities were generated against them. Yes they were outclassed for a good portion of this game, but they got the win by not allowing second and third opportunities too often.
Gotta go with Miikka Kiprusoff as he was the largest reason the Flames won this hockey game. Thanks to another strong performance from #34, and a nice Derek Smith save as well, the Avs were shutout for 59:26 of this hockey game. This should have been a Colorado win, and they'll leave knowing their fate should have been better.
Sum It Up
Here's the thing: Calgary won this game and these are the type of wins playoff teams need to take at times. However, the Flames have yet to be able to build on getting to even, as they've done it on three seperate occasions and haven't been able to get past .500. Calgary cannot continue to wallow around that mark, so things have got to be put together in a hurry. That said, it's two points they were fortunate to have, so money in the bank baby!