Avalanche-Flames Preview

After giving up their most goals in nearly three years, the

Colorado Avalanche will have to try to bounce back against a

Calgary Flames squad suddenly playing with some confidence.

Colorado looks to shake off its worst loss of the season Friday

night when it visits the Flames.

The Avalanche (19-7-0) couldn’t fix their penalty-kill issues in

an 8-2 loss Thursday in Edmonton. They surrendered three power-play

goals on seven chances and have now allowed nine on 27

opportunities over the last nine games.

Colorado, which had won five of six entering Thursday, killed

off 88.7 percent of opponents’ power plays while starting the

season 14-3-0.

But while the Avalanche surrendered their most goals since a 9-1

loss to the Flames on Feb. 14, 2011, coach Patrick Roy said he

wasn’t disappointed in his team, which claimed a 34-28 advantage in

shots.

“I think they played well. They score power-play goals, they

score on the rush … we knew as a team that would be very

dangerous if we just exchange chances with them,” Roy said. “We

just played into their game tonight. That’s all. And we need to

learn from it.”

Roy will be without key defenseman Jan Hejda, who he said is

scheduled to be examined in Denver on Friday after suffering a knee

injury. He lost the edge of his skate and collided feet-first with

the boards in the first period Thursday. He’s among the league

leaders with a plus-17 rating.

The Flames (10-13-4) come off wins over Los Angeles and Phoenix,

two teams well ahead of them in the Western Conference. They won

three games in a row just once last season.

Wednesday’s 4-1 home victory over Phoenix came despite only 18

shots but captain Mark Giordano tallied a goal and an assist after

missing 18 games with a broken ankle.

“For me, personally, to get back in, it was a great feeling,”

said Giordano, who has just one point in his last seven meetings

with Colorado with a minus-2 rating. “I felt pretty good. Your

adrenaline gets going pretty quick and I really didn’t feel my

ankle at all tonight, so that’s a great sign.”

Giordano had nine points in his eight games before suffering the

injury on Oct. 21 against Los Angeles. He totaled only 15 points in

47 contests last season.

“Obviously, it’s a big deal to get your captain back. He’s our

leader on and off the ice,” goalie Karri Ramo said. “He’s been

around us the whole time he’s been hurt and trying to help the team

any way he can, so it was really good to see him out there.”

The Avalanche defeated the Flames 4-2 at home on Nov. 9 with

Ryan O’Reilly recording a goal and an assist. He has five points in

his last three matchups with Calgary.

Michael Cammalleri had both goals for the Flames in last month’s

meeting and has six scores in his last four against Colorado.

Jiri Hudler, Calgary’s points leader with 25, has 12 in his last

five meetings.

Avalanche forward Paul Stastny is without a point in four

straight games but has five goals and two assists over his last

five contests versus Calgary.

The Flames have dropped five of the last seven meetings after

winning nine straight.