The Flames go for their fourth straight victory Thursday night when they host the Avalanche, losers of three in a row.
Calgary (6-3-0) extended its hot streak by beating Edmonton 5-4 in a shootout Tuesday. Brendan Morrison(notes) scored two goals and Alex Tanguay(notes) got the shootout winner as the Flames escaped after blowing a three-goal lead.
“We didn’t play a smart third, but we won and it’s a big two points,” Morrison said.
The Flames have been getting two points on a consistent basis of late, winning five of six to move into sole possession of the top spot in the Northwest Division. Calgary has done it with offense, outscoring opponents 15-6 during its win streak to give it 26 goals - among the most in the Western Conference.
The Flames also have gotten strong work in goal from Miikka Kiprusoff(notes), who came into Tuesday’s game with shutouts in two of his last three starts. He wasn’t quite as dominant against the Oilers, but he stopped 15 of 17 shots in the third period and held Edmonton without a goal in the shootout.
“I didn’t think Miikka had one of his stronger games here, but he’s not going to be perfect every night, either,” coach Brent Sutter said. “You have to find ways to overcome that when your goaltender is not as sharp as you need him to be.”
While Kiprusoff seems likely to be in net Thursday, Craig Anderson(notes) certainly won’t. The Avalanche goalie suffered a knee injury during pregame warmups in Vancouver on Tuesday night and returned to Denver to be re-examined.
There was no immediate word of the severity of the injury to Anderson, who was not slated to start against the Flames. Peter Budaj(notes) will make his third start of the season and said he’s ready to play more with Anderson out.
“I’d like to be in, and it looks like I’m going to be, so just be ready and see what happens and help the team get some wins,” said Budaj, who won his last two starts against the Flames in 2008-09 but didn’t face them last season.
Budaj couldn’t prevent the Avs (4-4-1) from dropping their third straight Tuesday, 4-3 in overtime to the Canucks. Mason Raymond(notes) poked a puck off the stick of defenseman Jonas Holos(notes) and between the legs of a surprised Budaj 28 seconds into the extra period.
Colorado has allowed 14 goals during its skid.
Kiprusoff snapped a five-game losing streak to Colorado with a 2-1 win April 2, making 35 saves. That was the Flames’ second consecutive win over their Northwest rivals after six straight losses in the series.
Calgary will be playing the third game of a five-game homestand.