Avalanche Bury Flames
Avalanche 7 - Flames 3 

Kris Fernet
October 10th, 2005

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On The Line – After a lackluster performance in Detroit yesterday afternoon the Flames come into Colorado needing to prove they are worthy of the pre-season praise they received from the media.  Going 0.500 on the season opening road trip is the goal.  Can the Flames improve on their performance of just over 24 hours ago?  How strong will Colorado come out in front of their record 440th sellout on their 10th Anniversary?  

The Flow – Colorado was able to maintain a strangle hold on the momentum through the first two periods.  Calgary did show signs of life in the third.  It is, however, debatable whether that had more to do with the Flames effort of the Avalanche sitting back after going into the period a head 6-1.

Three Stars - 1. Marek Svatos – In just his 6th NHL game the Avalanche rookie scored his first NHL hat trick. Finished the game with a team leading 7 shots on just 13:22 minutes of ice time.

2. Antti Laaksonen – Played well on the power play with the Avalanche rookies.  Came back in the third after a solid hit from Dion Phaneuf that sent him to the dressing room.

3. John-Michael Liles The Colorado sophomore defenseman logged close to 20 minutes, had 2 assists and was credited with 2 takeaways.  Liles was on the ice for 5 of the 7 Avalanche goals and none of the Flames goals.

Big Hit - Dion Phaneuf absolutely crushed Antti Laaksonen with an open ice hit 5 minutes into the third period.  Laaksonen was poking at a loose puck when Phanuef stepped into him with the shoulder.  Laaksonen was down on the ice briefly before being led to the dressing room.

Big Save – It may not have been the nicest save of the night but Kiprusoff stoned Patrice Brisebois with just 3 seconds left in the first period.  At the time the score was only 2-0 for Colorado and the save kept the Flames from giving up a devastating pre-intermission goal. 

The Goat – Special teams continue to be the Flames Achilles heal.  They finished the night with 14% power play conversion and just 62% penalty killing.  Dumb penalties also kept the Flames from being competitive tonight.

Mr. Clutch – A toss up between Tony Amonte and Dion Phaneuf.  Amonte scored his first and second goals as a Flame.  He cannot be expected to contribute more then that in a night.  Dion Phaneuf is up for consideration because of his spirited play on the power play and his heavy hitting.

Odds and Ends – Calgary entered the night 30th in the NHL with a paltry 52% penalty killing efficiency…No Flames player has scored in the first period this season…Langkow took the first shot of the night just 9 seconds in…Avalanche forward Andrew Brunette missed the first scoring opportunity of the game.  Brunette was unable to put the puck in the open net after a beautiful pass from Joe Sakic…The Flames defensive end woes continue.  Colorado was allowed to walk into the zone and behind the net on numerous occasions leading to at least a couple Avalanche goals…Eric Nystrom played his first regular season in a Flames uniform.   He had two decent scoring chances but was unable to convert.  His line with Sean Donovan and Byron Ritchie was the highest energy line for the Flames…A new power play system was executed tonight.  The umbrella (one man back on the point, 4 men deep) did create some chances but the team continues to lack a big body in front of the opposition goalie…The Flames second goal (scored short handed) was originally wiped out by referee Mike Hasenfratz.   After a lengthy review it was ruled the puck crossed the line before Avalanche keeper David Aebischer knocked the post of its moorings with his skate.  Coach Darryl Sutter was obviously upset by the initial call of ‘no goal’…Colorado’s 4th and 5th goals came just 36 seconds apart…Chris Simon found himself in the Coaches dog house tonight.  He sat the first half of the third period.  On his one shift at the 9 minute mark of the third he took a very irresponsible penalty.  5 seconds after the whistle Simon skated beside Alex Tanguay and checked him into the boards.  He did not see the ice again in the third…Shean Donovan took away the Flames momentum and chance at a comeback with a similarly careless penalty.  While on the power play and in the attacking zone, he was dinged 2 minutes for interference for hitting a Colorado forward from behind.  It was a very similar mistake to the one Steve Montador made yesterday in Detroit…Daymond Langkow did not see the ice in the third period…Darren McCarty was sent off at the end of the second period for drawing blood on a hit from behind.  He was assessed 5 minutes for boarding and a game misconduct.

 Next up – Thursday, October 13th, 2005. Home opener vs. Dallas Stars.  7pm.  Available on Sportsnet and online on FAN 960 am.

Lines - 

Amonte - Langkow - Iginla 
Simon - Reinprecht - Kobasew 
Nilson - Yelle - McCarty
Nystrom - Ritchie - Donovan

Hamrlik - Phaneuf 
Leopold - Warrener 
Ference - Montador



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