The Calgary Flames snapped a four-game losing streak — which began two weeks ago against the Colorado Avalanche — Tuesday night against the Avs in their 4-2 win at the Pepsi Center.
The Avs came into the game with the same energy and enthusiasm they had during the last game when they shutout the Dallas Stars, but it was not quite enough to earn the win.
Colorado was able to score first during the waning seconds of its first power play. The puck bounced in off of Brandon Yip’s skate from a shot by Jonas Holos.
The energy that both teams brought on the ice manifested itself into big hits and scrappy play which included a fight between Cody McLeod and Steve Staios and a large scrum after the second period buzzer sounded.
Avalanche forward Chris Steward tallied his tenth goal of the season. He snagged a rebound and flipped it over the pad of Miikka Kiprusoff.
Stewart was upset by the loss.
“It stings. We were up 2-1 and even though we’re just a young hockey team, that’s just an excuse.” He added, “Come playoff time we have to learn to win those games. Games like this can make the difference in making the playoffs.”
After the Avalanche took the lead early in the third period, the Flames responded by turning up the intensity, scoring three unanswered goals. The Avs battled hard, but ultimately, the team was unable to keep up.
“You have to give Calgary some credit,” Sacco said. “They played hard and they were desperate when they were down 2-1. At the end of the game we have to win more one-on-one battles, especially down low around our net. That was probably the biggest different, especially in the third period.”
The injury-plagued Avalanche lost two more players Tuesday night, forwards TJ Galiardi and David Van Der Gulik. Galiardi left with a broken wrist and Van Der Gulik limped off with a torn knee ligament. These forwards joined eight other players, including four defensemen.
“We’re facing some adversity right now, but I thought we played pretty well,” Sacco said about the injury bug. “We certainly had chances to win the hockey game. We just couldn’t hang on.”
Sacco still believes that injuries are no excuse, and the team is still expected to perform.
“We have a number of injuries, but we don’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said the Avs coach. “No one feels sorry for you in this League. We feel like we can compete with anybody. It doesn’t matter who is in the lineup.”
The Avalanche start a two-game road trip Friday night in Columbus when they take on the Blue Jackets. They will conclude the trip the next night in Detroit against the Red Wings.