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Game 59--Flames@Avalanche: Slip Slidin' Away

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Calgary Flames
@ Colorado Avalanche

Monday, Feb 14, 2011, 7:00 PM PST
Pepsi Center

Will the Flames Melt the Avalanche?

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The Flames (28-22-8) are in Denver this evening to take on the sliding Avalanche (25-25-6) in hopes of bouncing back after two consecutive losses over the weekend. The Flames were victorious in their last visit to the Pepsi Center back on November 9th, and are catching the injury-plagued Avs in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

Colorado is missing forwards Peter Mueller, Kyle Cumiskey, Tomas Fleischmann, and T.J. Galliardi as well as captain Adam Foote and Kyle Quincey and is now without Peter Forsberg, who officially announced his retirement today after playing two games with the team. The Flames failed to take advantage of a depleted Canucks defence on Saturday night, so they'll have to keep their foot on the gas tonight if they hope to steal two points from a desperate Colorado team.

The visitors will receive a bit of a boost tonight as Alex Tanguay returns to the lineup after missing three games with a neck strain; he'll suit up in his regular position on the first line, although Glencross was a more than adequate replacement. Lance Bouma will sit tonight as the extra forward, which is a shame; he's played hard in every game since being called up by the Flames and that's really all you can ask of him.

Miikka Kiprusoff will start again for the visitors; Henrik Karlsson hasn't started a game for almost a month and you have to wonder if Kipper is starting to feel the effects, but with the status of every game being "must win," it's difficult to find a game where the consequences of a regulation loss would be minimal enough to account for possible error. Peter Budaj will counter for the Avs despite Craig Anderson's return from his personal leave; neither has been a world-beater this season, and the Flames will want to pepper Budaj with shots every chance they get,

Enjoy the game everyone and make sacrifices to the Hockey Gods in the comments. Go Flames.