Kiprusoff, the NHL leader in goals-against average and save
percentage, posted his second shutout of the season, the fifth of
Chris Clark scored an empty-net goal at 19:10 as Calgary snapped
a three-game losing streak.
The win gave the Flames 70 points and vaulted them from eighth
in the Western Conference to fifth. Eight teams will qualify for
the playoffs from each conference.
Gelinas' 14th goal came on a shot from the left point by Craig Conroy. Gelinas was battling Colorado's Riku Hahl in front of the crease, and the puck hit Gelinas and ricocheted off his shoulder into the net.
"Conroy put it on net," Gelinas said. "I tried to grab it and
turned around quickly, but I lost it. I didn't even know it was in.
Conroy deserved the goal. Sometimes you shoot and it doesn't go in.
This one was just a lucky bounce.
"The win was big for us. We went from eighth to fifth with this
Kiprusoff said his defense "didn't let them have too many good
scoring chances. Pretty much every game we play solid defense, and
I just have to do my job. Most of the time, that's enough."
David Aebischer had 23 saves for Colorado, which has gone
0-3-1-1 in its past five home games while scoring only four goals.
"They got the break at the end," Avalanche coach Tony Granato
said. "We have to be a lot better about creating offensive
"We have to find a way to generate when things are not going in
for us on the pretty play. Look at their goal. Throw the puck to
the net from the top of the circle. It bounces off a guy's shoulder
and goes into the net. When they are not going in the pretty way,
you have to score them a different way."
Added Avalanche captain Joe Sakic: "We have to find a way to
get some ugly goals, and hopefully we will turn it around."
Flames forward Stephane Yelle returned after missing the previous 18 games with a sprained knee. Colorado defenseman Rob Blake was back after missing seven games with a hairline fracture of his left leg, and Adam Foote returned after missing two games with a groin injury.
Colorado outshot Calgary 9-4 in a scoreless first period.
The Avalanche had two prime scoring chances midway through the
Kiprusoff made a glove save off Hahl from the slot. The
Avalanche thought they had a goal moments later, but John-Michael Liles' shot hit the right post and bounced off Kiprusoff's back
before the goalie swatted it out of the crease.
In a scoreless second period, Calgary outshot Colorado 13-9.
The Flames acquired forward Ville Nieminen from Chicago in
exchange for Jason Morgan and a conditional draft choice. ...
Colorado center Peter Forsberg missed his fourth straight game with
a groin injury. ... It was the final game in Calgary's season-long
five-game road trip. ... Kiprusoff has allowed two or fewer goals
in 18 of his last 19 starts and 20 of his 22 starts this season.