Denver Down in Flames

Game Review #73

The Flames did not need the luck of the Irish to bring home this win on St. Patrick’s Day. As anticipated, the Flames brought fire to their game and controlled the play for the length of it. It was exactly the kind of statement win they needed going into their critical California road trip. 

The Flames have just shaken off a three game losing funk with this win, and they will need that confidence going into California to meet not one but three teams in the playoff hunt. 

The Avalanche immediately got themselves into deep trouble with two early penalties. One by Cody McLeod and another a minute later by Ryan O’Reilly--bad luck for an O’Reilly on St. Paddy’s day. The Flames made no mistake, going to work with an early 5-on-3 PP. 

Jarome Iginla stood in the wheelhouse and slapped in a quick PPG with a very familiar play we have seen all season with Alex Tanguay setting the table for him. Rene Bourque tallied the other helper on this PPG.

More Post-Game Review after the jump...

Not to be outdone, the second powerplay unit hit the ice, and 24-seconds later, Mark Giordano potted the second goal on a back and forth with Jay Bouwmeester. Gio managed to slide one past Peter Budaj and Ales Kotalik, fresh up from his stint with the Heat, had the second assist.

The third goal was a lame one. A fluke goal where the puck suddenly hit the ref and went up into play; the Avs jumped on the opportunity, or more precisely Matt Duchene did, taking the puck after the odd deflection off the ref and feeding Mark Olver for his first NHL goal. I will give the ref the other assist, although Ryan Wilson officially owns it on the stat sheet.

Bourque would have none of this close game nonsense. In the final 20-seconds of the first period, Bourque took a pass from Tom Kostopoulos and Mikael Backlund and literally threaded the needle on a laser-guided snipe. One of those put-the-puck-through-a-coffee-cup shots.

The second period was scoreless and there was no ignoring the fact that the Flames were dominating and in control of the game, holding the Avs to just four shots in the period. 

The third period saw the Flames put the game out of reach. Kotalik's goal was the dagger that pretty much sealed the game for the Flames by the 5:00 mark. Kotalik took a nice cross-ice pass from Niklas Hagman and Matt Stajan to score his team's fourth goal of the game.

Curtis Glencross then mimicked Hagman's play by feeding Jarome Iginla for his 32nd goal of the season with Jay Bouwmeester drawing his second assist of the game.

Ironically, the game would end with a reversal of roles on special teams, with the Avalanche enjoying a 5-on-3. McLeod put in his fifth goal of the season after receiving a nice pass from Duchene who tallied his second assist of the game.

All in all, this was a strong game for the Flames and a must win was won. No need to dally on it because it is time to move on to the critical California road trip.

 

Scoring Breakdown

The Flames

The Avalanche

 

Goals

Assists

 

Goals

Assists

Iginla

2

0

O'Reilly

1

0

Bourque

1

1

Olver

1

0

Kotalik

1

1

Duchene

0

2

Giordano

1

0

Wilson

0

1

Bouwmeester

0

2

 

 

 

Glencross

0

1

 

 

 

Stajan

0

1

 

 

 

Tanguay

0

1

 

 

 

Kostopoulos

0

1

 

 

 

Backlund

0

1

 

 

 

Hagman

0

1

 

 

 

 

Shots

Saves

 

Shots

Saves

Kiprusoff

29

27

Budaj

28

23

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