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Recap: Avalanche , Flames
Date: March 17, 2011 9:00 PM EDT
  

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - A timely visit from the plummeting and undisciplined Colorado Avalanche was just what the Calgary Flames needed to get their playoff push back on track.

Jarome Iginla scored two goals, and the Flames beat Colorado 5-2 on Thursday night to send the Avalanche to their 10th straight loss.

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Iginla scored one of his goals on a two-man advantage at 3:51 of the first period. With the Flames still a man up, Mark Giordano made it 2-0 just 24 seconds later.

``I thought right from the start we had our tempo up and we were able to draw the penalties,' Iginla said. ``Fortunately we were able to get one and then get Gio's goal right afterward. That was huge.'

Rene Bourque and Alex Kotalik had a goal and an assist each for the Flames, who snapped a three-game losing streak and moved back into eighth place in the Western Conference. Jay Bouwmeester added two assists.

Mark Olver and Cody McLeod had goals for the Avalanche, 2-20-2 since Jan. 18. Matt Duchene had two assists.

``They wanted it,' Olver said of the Flames. ``They came out strong, they came out hard. They took advantage of their power plays.'

With Brendan Morrison and David Moss out of the lineup due to injuries, the Flames recalled Kotalik from Abbotsford of the AHL on Wednesday. In 18 games with the Heat, Kotalik had four goals and 15 assists.

``I'm glad to be back,' Kotalik said. ``It's not about me, it's about the team. I feel better. I was trying to bring it up here and I'm glad I was able to contribute in this win.'

Kotalik's return gave the Flames a boost.

``Guys were definitely happy to see him back,' Iginla said. ``He's been through a lot. He had a great game. He hit a crossbar and he could have had another few. It's great to see for him and also for the team.'

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots for his 33rd win of the season. Colorado counterpart Peter Budaj made 23 saves.

The Flames scored power-play goals 24 seconds apart early in the first period to take a 2-0 lead.

During Calgary's two-man advantage, Iginla fired a hard one-timer past Budaj, who had no chance on the play. With the Flames still up a man, Giordano cut into the slot and lost control of the puck before spinning and sliding a shot through Budaj's legs.

The Avalanche then cut the deficit to one when Olver scored his first NHL goal. Olver took a pass from Matt Duchene, cut in front of the Calgary net and made a quick move to his backhand before roofing a shot over Kiprusoff's left pad.

``When you're a little kid you dream of your first NHL goal,' Olver said. ``After a loss like that, you sure wish it was after better circumstances, but that's the way she goes sometimes so we've just got to rebound for Saturday (in Edmonton against the Oilers).'

With just 18.7 seconds left in the opening frame, Bourque fired a perfect shot into the top corner, short side behind Budaj to put the Flames back up by two goals.

``We came back, we made it 2-1, we started to play better. and that was a tough goal to give up in the last minute of the first period,' Colorado coach Joe Sacco said.

Calgary outshot Colorado 10-4 in the scoreless second period.

Kotalik, who had three goals in 20 games with the Flames before being sent to the minors, tapped in a cross-crease pass from Niklas Hagman to put Calgary up 4-0 at 4:36 of the third.

Iginla converted a feed from Curtis Glencross two minutes later to put the game away. Iginla moved into a tie with Alexander Mogilny and Denis Savard for 49th on the NHL career list with 473 goals.

``To be honest, I didn't know that,' Iginla said. ``My second year I went through some tough scoring times and I wondered if maybe I wasn't going to be a scorer in the NHL. I've definitely been extremely blessed. Back then I never would have thought that. I hope to score a lot more, but that's pretty neat and I'm definitely thankful.'

McLeod then scored during a two-man advantage for the Avalanche with 5.6 seconds left in the game.

Notes: The Flames are 9-5-2 on St. Patrick's Day, including a 3-2 road win over the Avalanche last season. ... After starting the season 14-16-1, Kiprusoff is 19-6-4 to get the Flames back into playoff contention. ... Flames forward Mikael Backlund celebrated his 22nd birthday by earning an assist on Bourque's goal.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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