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Game 80--Flames@Avalanche: One Last Kick at "The Can"

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Calgary Flames
@ Colorado Avalanche

Sunday, Apr 3, 2011, 6:00 PM MST
Pepsi Center

Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche: As the Season Winds Down

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After a come-from-behind victory in St. Louis on Friday night thanks to Jarome Iginla's 1000th career point, the Flames are at the Pepsi Centre this evening in an attempt to capture a decisive series victory over the basement-dwelling Colorado Avalanche. Calgary can't catch Chicago with a win, but they can come to within one point of the Blackhawks, who are in action tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. A 'Hawks loser point combined with a Flames regulation loss could spell the end for Calgary, as the Stars and Ducks also hit the ice tonight.

Phoenix Coyotes

. The Flames looked thoroughly uninspired in the first period against the Blues on Friday, and as we've become accustomed to, only made a sustained push to get back into the game once they were down by a couple goals before taking the lead in a dramatic fashion despite being out-played in the final frame. That's a habit they'll have to kick tonight against the Avs in a game that lacks much in the way of importance and for which both teams are rested. Really, the Flames have no excuse not to win tonight, and if they can avoid defensive lapses as well as the laziness and lack of discipline that seems to have characterized their game of late, they should be able to. The Avs have been terrible for much of 2010-11, and an emotional letdown against them after Friday's performance in St. Louis would be bad news going into the final two games of the season, which also happen to be against divisional rivals.

Daymond Langkow looks to centre the first line again tonight after an impressive performance in his first game in over a year lead to an almost instant promotion, and I don't know if the fact that he moved so swiftly up the depth chart within the span of sixty minutes is more of a testament to how good a player he is or how terrible the Flames' forward/centre depth is these days. Niklas Hagman could potentially return to the lineup tonight as well after missing time with concussion-like symptoms, although the team didn't skate this morning so nothing is for certain. Miikka Kiprusoff will guard the crease for the Flames after an improved performance in Friday's outing, but you'd have to imaging that Henrik Karlsson will start at least one of the remaining two games if the Flames are in fact eliminated from post-season contention tonight.

Also of note is the fact that Jarome Iginla could reach another milestone tonight with his 40th goal of the season--quite a feat for a 33-year old...if only he didn't have that pesky Teemu Selanne to compete with.

Enjoy the game everyone and, as always, root for Iggy in the comments. Go Flames.