MacNeil wins first game as interim coach

DENVER (AP) -- Angry that they couldn't save their coach's job,
the Calgary Flames took it out on the Colorado Avalanche.

Al MacNeil won his first game as interim coach for Calgary when
the Flames got goals from Craig Conroy and Oleg Saprykin in a 2-1
victory over the Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Roman Turek stopped 30 shots for the Flames, who ended a
four-game losing streak after firing head coach Greg Gilbert and
assistant Brad McCrimmon before the team's morning skate.

"If you go around the room, every single guy probably feels
responsible,'' Calgary forward Jarome Iginla said. "So there was a
little rage that goes out in the game.''

Turek, who had allowed 16 goals in the previous four games, made
several spectacular saves in the first two periods before allowing
a goal by Radim Vrbata with 3:17 left in the game.

Vrbata was credited with his seventh goal of the season after
Turek made a stick save and the puck bounced off traffic into the

Turek also made a tough save on a backhander by Rob Blake in the
closing seconds to give Calgary its second win in 13 games.

"It's unfortunate that guy loses his job, but it woke us up I
guess,'' Calgary forward Chris Drury said. "It made us realize how
serious the situation is and we needed to get a win. That was our
best game in a long time.''

Colorado, the league's worst team on the power play, was 0-for-4
to lose for the first time in five home games.

The Avalanche have scored just two goals in their last 26
chances with a man advantage, and heard boos from the home crowd
during a power play in the third period.

"Our special teams are not getting the job done and we just
need to remain focused, positive and keep working hard,'' Colorado
defenseman Greg de Vries said. "It isn't easy, but we don't have
any other choice.''

Turek turned away two Colorado power plays in the first,
stopping Adam Foote on a backhander the first time and a hard slap
shot by Blake from between the circles in the second.

He opened the second period by stopping a shot by Blake with his
armpit and stuffing Dean McAmmond from close range after he slipped
around a Calgary defender.

Turek also made a spectacular glove save on a redirected shot by
Milan Hejduk late in the period.

The Avalanche had several odd-man rushes in the first two
periods, but the puck either bounced over their sticks or they
weren't able to control the pass.

"We are proud as an organization, we are not happy with the way
we are playing and not happy with the way we are collecting points
right now,'' Colorado coach Bob Hartley said.

Saprykin opened the scoring 6:37 into the second period,
one-timing a pass from Iginla for his first goal since April 7,
2001, against Los Angeles.

Iginla circled from behind Colorado's net and slipped a pass to
Saprykin, who beat Patrick Roy's glove side from the right circle.

Conroy made it 2-0 with 1:53 left in the second on a power play.

Avalanche defenders blocked two shots before the puck squirted
to the right circle to Conroy, who knocked in his seventh of the
season before Roy could slide over.

"We have to remain very positive. I have to remain positive,''
said Roy, who faced 32 shots. "I don't want to lose my focus. I
know one thing, it won't be better if I don't.''

Drury and Stephane Yelle, back in Denver for the first time
since being traded on Oct. 1, received a warm reception from the
fans during introductions.

Drury and Yelle were sent to Calgary for McAmmond,
Derek Morris
and Jeff Shantz.

Game notes
Morris got the better of a fight with Martin Gelinas midway
through the second period, sending the Calgary defenseman reeling
with a couple of right hands to the head. ... Colorado F
Peter Forsberg missed his second straight game with a strained groin. ...
The Avalanche also lost Foote to a groin injury in the second