DENVER (AP) -- All Jarome Iginla needed was a few wins to break
out of his slump.
Getting them proved to be the hard part.
Iginla, the league's scoring leader last season, had just six
goals in the first 27 games this year as the Flames struggled. Over
the past seven games, which includes five Calgary wins, he has six
goals and four assists.
"The more you win, it's easier -- the game happens easier, you
have more jump in your step," Iginla said. "It's easier to play
when you're winning, but then you've got to get yourself to that
The Flames have done just that under Sutter, who was hired on
Dec. 28 after being fired by the Sharks earlier in the season.
Calgary has won three straight for the first time this season
and is 4-0-1 since Sutter replaced interim coach Al MacNeil. The
Flames had just 17 shots against the Avalanche, but still scored
four goals for the third time in five games.
Roman Turek stopped 31 shots for Calgary, which has not trailed
in a game since Sutter took over.
"The coaching change has us playing with more poise and
confidence. I think that is what we were lacking," Calgary's Rob
Niedermayer said. "We weren't trying to make the play when the
play was there. We don't just shoot the puck off the glass."
The Avalanche played without top defenseman Rob Blake for the
second time in three games due to a sore back. He was missed.
Colorado allowed a goal in the first minute of the game, gave up
several odd-man rushes and had three defensive miscues that led
directly to goals.
The result was Colorado's third loss in 10 games under new coach
"Sometimes when things aren't going well and the other team is
playing well, you try to do too much," said Granato, who played
his final four years in the league under Sutter in San Jose. "That
was probably what happened tonight."
Niedermayer scored his third of the season 30 seconds in after
splitting two defenders near the blue line. He whiffed on the shot,
but Patrick Roy was caught leaning the other way and the puck
trickled under his stick.
The quick score led the Avalanche to press more on offense,
which created more open ice for the Flames.
Conroy made it 2-0 at 10:19 of the first, keeping it on a 2-on-1
and beating Roy between the pads after Colorado's Adam Foote got
caught pitching in on offense. It was Conroy's 11th of the season.
Colorado cut the lead to one 1:56 later when Dean McAmmond beat
Turek with a one-timer, but Calgary made it 3-1 midway through the
second on another mistake by a Colorado defenseman.
The Avalanche had consecutive power plays, but Iginla scored a
shorthanded goal on a 2-on-1 after Colorado's Greg de Vries
couldn't keep the puck in Calgary's zone.
Roy stopped Conroy's shot from the left circle, but the puck
trickled behind him and Iginla tapped it in for his 12th of the
"It was like a gift," Iginla said.
Colorado's Martin Skoula had the final miscue, dropping a pass
to no one that led to a 3-on-1 rush the other way. Former Avalanche
forward Stephane Yelle kept the puck and clanged in his sixth goal
of the season off the crossbar with 9:47 left in the game.
"We gave up way too many chances and left Patty all by himself
way too many times," said Colorado's Peter Forsberg, who had a
slick drop pass to set up a goal by Milan Hejduk with 23 seconds
left in the second period.
Hejduk's goal, which cut Calgary's lead to 3-2, was his
19th. He has 10 points in five games and at least one in 14 of 15.
... Martin Gelinas had an assist on Conroy's goal, extending his
points streak to four games. ... Calgary is 5-3-2 at Colorado's
Pepsi Center, with three straight wins. ... Colorado opened the
season as one of the league's worst teams on the penalty kill, but
has turned away 16 of 17 chances after killing all five against the