The Avalanche came into Friday night’s home game against San Jose 0-4-3-1 in their previous eight games at the Pepsi Center, but routed the Sharks 5-1 in a matchup of first-place Western Conference teams.
Joe Sakic had a goal and two assists, and Milan Hejduk added a goal and an assist for Colorado, which increased its lead over second-place Vancouver to three points in the Northwest when the Canucks lost to Detroit.
“Going down the stretch we need to win games to compete for first in the division and first in the conference,” Colorado coach Tony Granato said. “We are still in the hunt for that and it is important that we put together a bunch of wins.”
Despite the big victory, Granato’s team hasn’t won two in a row since Feb. 12-14. Colorado, with the second-most road wins in the Western Conference, plays six of seven games on the road following Sunday’s contest.
Sakic has four goals and three assists in his past two games after scoring only four goals in the previous 14 home contests.
Avalanche center Peter Forsberg missed his ninth straight game with a groin injury Friday, but the Avs expect to get center Andrei Nikolishin back Sunday. Nikolishin has missed 19 games with an abdominal injury.
Avs defenseman Rob Blake has gone 16 games without a goal.
The Flames dropped their second straight since a two-game winning streak, 5-1 at Dallas on Friday night. Calgary’s Rhett Warrener scored from 70 feet out in the second period to cut the lead to 2-1, but Shean Donovan was stopped by Marty Turco on a penalty shot at 17:30 of the period.
“I wanted to go backhand but I caught an edge that forced me to go the other way,” Donovan said of his attempt at a tying tally. “There’s no excuse. I’ve got to be better. That was a free chance.”
The Flames, trying to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1995-96 season, are battling Nashville and Los Angeles for positioning at the bottom of the West playoff picture.