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Road dog Flames handle Avalanche, 3-1

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DENVER (AP) - Mike Cammalleri broke a second-period tie and Joey MacDonald stopped 39 shots, helping the Calgary Flames snap a 13-game road winless streak with a 3-1 victory over the slumping Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.

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Roman Cervenka also scored and Alex Tanguay added a short-handed goal to wrap up the win for the Flames in a game that featured the bottom two teams in the NHL. Before Monday, Calgary's last victory away from home was Feb. 17 at Dallas.

Brad Malone scored his first NHL goal for the last-place Avalanche, who have dropped five straight games.

MacDonald came up big late in the third period, stopping a point-blank backhanded shot by Matt Duchene and weathering back-to-back hooking penalties on Cervenka in the final 5 minutes.

Tanguay gave the Flames some breathing room when he skated in all alone and beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere over his right shoulder. Down two goals and up a skater with 2 minutes remaining, the Avs pulled Giguere but couldn't score.

There was a scary moment early in the third period when referee Brad Meier was hit in the left leg by a puck that an Avalanche defenseman was attempting to clear. Meier crumpled to the ice and stayed down for several minutes before gingerly skating into the dressing room.

Trailing 1-0 midway through the second period, Cervenka tied the game when he beat Giguere with a wrist shot. Six minutes later, Horak took advantage of an Avalanche miscue to corral the puck near the goal and quickly flipped it to a wide-open Cammalleri, who shot the puck over Giguere's shoulder.

It was Cammalleri's 12th goal of the season. The goal also helped the Flames snap a five-game losing streak. Their last win was at home on March 27 against Colorado.

Malone gave the Avalanche a lead early in the second period when he tipped in a shot from Tyson Barrie. Malone was just called up from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League last week. He's known more for his physical presence - he led the Monsters with 99 penalty minutes - but also had 10 goals.

The Flames dominated a penalty-filled first period, but couldn't score on Giguere. They even had a 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:36 that only produced two shots. Cory Sarich and Jan Hejda each received 5-minute majors for fighting. Hejda also was assessed an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.

This is a season that's gone downhill for both Calgary and Colorado. They're now contending not for a playoff spot but for the first pick of the NHL draft this summer.

For Duchene, being in last place is ``embarrassing,'' especially since he thought this team could contend in a lockout-shortened season.

``We were right there for a while and hit the skids,'' Duchene said. ``Had we gone the other way, we're in a playoff spot. But it came to that crunch time and we weren't able to perform way we should have.''

NOTES: Horak finished with two assists. ... Calgary center Jiri Hudler (upper body) didn't play against the Avs. It's the first game he's missed since the first three contests of the season when he was on bereavement leave following the death of his father. Hudler averages 17 minutes of ice time a game. ... Avs F Paul Stastny (foot) will practice Tuesday and may play Wednesday in Anaheim. Stastny has missed the last eight games. ... F Milan Hejduk (shoulder) skated with the team Monday morning, but isn't any closer to a return. ``We still don't have an exact time when he'll return,'' coach Joe Sacco said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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