Series (Game 3 of 6)

Calgary leads 5-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 28th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 9th
Game 3: Friday, December 31st
Game 4: Monday, February 14th
Game 5: Thursday, March 17th
Game 6: Sunday, April 3rd

Avalanche 2

(20-13-5, 45 pts)

Flames 3

(17-18-3, 37 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 31, 2010

Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 0 0 22
CGY 0 3 03

T. Jackman (Flames - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Kostopoulos (Flames - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Winnik (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Avalanche-Flames Preview


It's taken until the end of the calendar year, but the Calgary Flames may be rounding into form.

The Flames seek to match their season-best three-game winning streak Friday night when they host the division rival Colorado Avalanche, who look to celebrate New Year's Eve with a two-game sweep in Alberta.

While still languishing below .500, Calgary (16-18-3) is showing signs of life -- led by its veteran line of Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and former Colorado winger Alex Tanguay. After Tanguay tallied the tying goal and the lone score of the shootout in a 3-2 victory at Dallas on Dec. 23, Jokinen and Iginla each found the back of the net during Monday's 5-2 home win over Buffalo. Tanguay assisted on both goals.

"We've had these chances over the last four or five games and we just haven't been able to put them in," said Iginla, who needs two assists for 500 in his career. "Hopefully this is the start of a snowball in the other direction where we get those, and they find a way into the net."

Jokinen has found the net six times in his last nine games after scoring twice in his first 25.

"The puck is bouncing my way a little bit now and I'm a big believer that if you work hard, and you keep doing things right, then eventually pucks are going to start going in," he said.

The Flames are 12-7-1 when Tanguay records a point, and 4-11-2 when he does not. Tanguay has three goals and 12 assists in 19 games against the Avalanche, for whom he played his first six seasons from 1999-2006.

Calgary is looking to win three straight for the first time since Oct. 22-26. That run ended two nights later with a 6-5 home loss to the Avalanche.

The Flames have won three of the last four meetings following a six-game losing streak in this series, but all three wins came in Colorado. The road team has taken the last five matchups between these clubs. The Flames have dropped four straight at home to the Avalanche since a 4-1 victory Nov. 18, 2008.

Colorado (20-12-5) avoided a fourth straight loss overall Thursday, when it squandered a three-goal lead but recovered to beat slumping Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout. Milan Hejduk scored the only goal in the tiebreaker while Craig Anderson denied all three Oilers shooters.

T.J. Galiardi, Paul Stastny and Tomas Fleischmann scored in the first to stake the Avalanche to their lead.

"Down the road, they won't look at how we got it, just that we got the two points," said Stastny, who has one goal and 10 assists during an eight-game point streak versus the Flames.

This will be Calgary's first game since Darryl Sutter resigned as general manager Tuesday. Assistant Jay Feaster was promoted to acting general manager -- a role he will occupy until season's end.

The Flames are looking to win at home on New Year's Eve for the sixth consecutive season. They haven't lost on Dec. 31 since a 2-1 defeat to the Avalanche in 2003.