Series (Game 3 of 6)

Colorado leads 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 28th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 17th
Game 3: Sunday, December 13th
Game 4: Monday, January 11th
Game 5: Wednesday, March 17th
Game 6: Friday, April 2nd

Flames 2

(19-9-4, 42 pts)

Avalanche 3

(19-10-6, 44 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 13, 2009

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
CGY 0 1 12
COL 1 2 03

C. Stewart (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

W. Wolski (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Anderson (Avalanche - G): Saves: 19, Save Pct.: .905

Flames-Avalanche Preview


It's not even halfway through the season, but the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames are eagerly awaiting their showdown Sunday night at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche will look to make it five straight over the Flames when the Northwest Division co-leaders skate for the third time this season.

Colorado (18-10-6) and Calgary (19-8-4) have 42 points to top the division. The Avalanche are playing the middle contest of a five-game homestand and are looking forward to this matchup with the team that finished 29 points ahead of them last season.

"It's a huge game," right wing Chris Stewart told the Avalanche's official Web site. "We're tied for the division lead right now, it's a four-point game and we want to create some momentum and head into the Christmas break leading the division."

Colorado, though, will be without right wing Milan Hejduk, who is sidelined with a knee injury. Hejduk is tied for the team lead with 12 goals and is third with 20 points.

The Flames bring to Denver a sputtering offense that has produced eight goals in the last five games, with none by captain Jarome Iginla, who leads the team with 17. This is their first trip to Colorado after losing twice by 3-2 scores at home to the Avalanche.

"They beat us last time they were here and we weren't happy about it," winger Curtis Glencross told the Flames' official Web site. "It's been our problem the whole time. We beat ourselves. As long as we play our own game and play the way that we can, there's not a team that can really touch us."

Calgary will try to beat Craig Anderson for the first time this season. Anderson totaled 64 saves in the first two meetings, and returned to action Friday after missing four games with a neck injury.

He finished with 21 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts by Tampa Bay in the 2-1 victory. Anderson faced only five shots in the third period and overtime.

"Sometimes the toughest job is when you don't see a lot of shots," he said.

Wojtek Wolski scored the equalizer in the third period and added the lone goal of the shootout as the Avalanche ended a three-game home skid.

"Lately we've been snakebitten," Wolski said. "Tonight we really put the effort forth."

Rookie defenseman Ryan Wilson assisted on Wolski's goal. Wilson was signed as a free agent by Calgary on July 1, 2008 before being dealt to Colorado in March along with forward Lawrence Nycholat and a draft pick for defenseman Jordan Leopold.

Wilson had his first career goal and an assist against his former team in the last meeting Nov. 17.

The Flames are looking to get off to a better start and shore up their defense after losing 2-1 in overtime at home to Minnesota on Friday. Miikka Kiprusoff made a season-high 44 saves for Calgary, which was outshot 19-3 in a scoreless first period.

"We play well defensively, we don't let those shots through," said defenseman Aaron Johnson, who scored his first goal of the season. "Any time a team gets that many shots, you know we're doing something wrong."

Iginla has three assists during his season-high five-game streak without a goal. He's scored in the last three games of a six-game point streak against the Avalanche.