Three third-period goals push Flames past Avalanche

CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) — Even a Herculean effort from Peter
Budaj could not gain the Colorado Avalanche a victory over their
Northwest Division rivals.

Defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored to snap a tie with 7:32
remaining in the third period as the Calgary Flames scored three
times in the session en route to a 4-1 win over the Colorado
Avalanche on Tuesday.

Rene Bourque and David Moss also scored, captain Jarome Iginla
added an empty-net goal and Daymond Langkow notched two assists
as Calgary defeated Colorado for the third time this season.

The teams will meet again Thursday in Denver.

“There’s been game where we’d fall asleep for five minutes, but
I think tonight we played a full 60 minutes,” Bourque said. “We
talk about winning close games, and we did that tonight.”

Marek Svatos staked Colorado to a 1-0 lead just 6:48 into the
first period, netting his third of goal of the season. However,
the Avalanche were unable to keep the pressure off Budaj for
much of the night, allowing the tying goal to Bourque at 6:53 of
the second.

The fourth-year goaltender made 13 saves in the opening period,
but did his best work in the second and third just to keep the
Avalanche afloat.

With a worn down defense in front of him, Budaj was beaten on a
slap shot from Aucoin in the slot for the go-ahead goal. The
Flames defenseman gloved a failed clearing attempt by Milan
Hedjuk and blasted a shot over the left shoulder of Budaj for
his third of the season.

“I put it exactly where I wanted to, so I’m happy with that,”
Aucoin said. “Hats off to our forwards. When they’re pressuring
like that, as a defenseman when you have forwards coming at you
wave after wave, weak plays up the middle are the result.”

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“When they throw everything at us like that, it’s a tough thing
to defense,” Budaj said. “They’re coming at us at 100 miles per
hour and they’re a big, physical team. Tonight we didn’t win
the battles on the wall, and the result was they got a lot of

While Budaj was being peppered all night, making 18 saves in the
second and 16 in the third, Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff
was stellar in the final session, making eight of his 23 saves
to hold the lead.

Calgary, which fired a season-high 51 shots on goal in the
contest, added a pair of goals in the final 28 seconds to put
the game away.

Iginla scored his 11th of the season with an empty-net tally
with 28 seconds remaining and Moss beat Budaj for a power-play
goal with 10 seconds left.

The Flames broke their previous total for shots in a game,
surpassing the 38 they registered against Boston on October 30.

“He (Budaj) played incredible. It was frustrating, but we said
we had to keep going and we’d eventually get one by him,”
Calgary’s Craig Conroy said. “When Aucoin scored that was a huge
relief. But we didn’t deviate from the plan tonight, we just
tried to do it right from start to finish.”

“He (Budaj) kept us in the game and we still had a chance to win
the hockey game at the end,” Hejduk said. “The bottom line is
we have to play a lot better than this. We spent too much time
in the penalty box and didn’t play well enough to win.”