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Flames Hold Off Avs

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The Flames rocketed out of the gates in the first period (well, sort of), but it looked as if their old nemesis JS Giguere might get the best of them.

The Avs weathered the Flames early momentum and scored first on a PP after a lazy penalty by the lord of lazy penalties, Rene Bourque.

Playing from behind? Why, that just happens to be the Flames specialty! The jets were turned on and dangit if the Flames didn't muster 21 shots on goal in the first - tying the game on a beauty little play by young Roman Horak (I would later come to find that the Avs local broadcast announcers refer to Horak as Her-ROCK). Congratulations to the youngster.

At this point, with Matt Stajan in the press box as a healthy scratch, and Horak scoring his first NHL goal - half of Calgary is spit-balling ways of pulling a Tonya Harding and making his stay in the PB a little more... permanent.

Unfortunately for Matty Franchise (<- Copyright Toronto Maple Leafs fans), the magical night of Horak had just begun!

The Avs started to turn the corner in the 2nd period, and the team that we had heard so many raves about was thinking about coming to play. 

Not so fast. Roman Horak helps set up Lee Stempniak for his 1st tally as a Flame, and just like that - the home team is leading. Leading, eh? They haven't had much luck with that so far in this young campaign... safe to say expectations were still low.

Then, bing bang boom. Bourque scores on the PP. 3-1 Flames. And, whatcha think mighta happened next? Prevent defense mode. Chances went something like 13-2 for the Avs following the Bourque goal.  The Flames did their best Miami Dolphins impression, but fortunately, it wasn't good enough and a late EN non-goal, goal by Bourque cut the Avs comeback short.

The Flames will take those 2 points any day, and have now put together back to back decent performances. However, I do hope that Brent Sutter realizes that's not exactly the ideal way to win a game. A counter-attack should still be a priority.

Guys like Daniel Winnik love to play against the Flames. My theory is that the hard workers like him, simply outwork the Flames on a nightly basis. Their high gear is plain and simply higher than that of anyone in the Flaming C.  In 6 games against Calgary last year, Winnik had 3 goals and 4 points.  He managed an assist in last night's contest. Vern Fiddler is another one of those spark plug guys who puts up numbers against the Flames. 

At 2-1-1 on the current 6-game home stand, I'd say the team needs at least 3 of 4 possible points in order to chalk it up as a productive stretch.  And, it's achievable, with the Blues coming in on Friday and the Canucks finishing off the Flames home stand on Tuesday. 

Three Stars:

1. Roman Horak- Gotta give it to the kid. First NHL goal and an assist to boot.

2. Miikka Kiprusoff: Either it really sucks to be the goalie when the team goes into 'the shell', or it's really awesome getting to face all that rubber.  Either way, Kipper held strong in the second half of the game when the Flames needed him most.

3. Matt Stajan: Best game of the year.