Avalanche 6, Flames 3

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CALGARY -- The Colorado Avalanche wanted something to show for their four-game road-trip.
They got it.
John Mitchell had two goals and Paul Stastny scored a pair in an 89-second span in the third period -- scoring the winner on the powerplay with 2:40 remaining and then adding a crucial insurance marker -- to lead the Colorado Avalanche to Thursday's 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
While the Flames were coming off a four-day break between games, the Avalanche arrived in Calgary after three consecutive road losses and gutted out a victory that was much closer than the final score would indicate.
It was tied until Stastny jammed a puck over the goal line on the man advantage, with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano serving a tripping penalty.
Flames free-agent addition Jiri Hudler opened the scoring, notching his first goal in a Calgary uniform when he grabbed a long rebound and fired a wrist shot past Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Mitchell, another guy still getting to know his new teammates, tied it up with less than a minute remaining before the first intermission, capitalizing on a turnover by Flames defenseman Chris Butler and scoring for the high slot.
Hudler doubled his season scoring totals 1:49 into the second, finishing off a terrific cross-ice feed from center Matt Stajan on an odd-man rush. Former KHL all-star Roman Cervenka had the other assist, his first career point in the NHL.
The lead lasted less than two minutes before Avalanche winger P.A. Parenteau scored on a backhand from the slot, a shot that shouldn't have slipped through the pads of Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.
Mitchell scored his second of the night with three minutes left before the break in the middle frame, converting a pass from linemate Chuck Kobasew.
The Flames would tie it up before the Zamboni rolled out, though, with Hudler setting up Alex Tanguay for a tic-tac-toe effort.
After Stastny's two goals to provide the heroics late in the third for the Avalanche, Parenteau scored into an empty net.
Giguere, who was making his first start of the season for the Avs, made 25 saves. Kiprusoff, in his fifth straight game, stopped 17 shots.
NOTES: The Avalanche entered Thursday's game as the NHL's most penalized team, with 139 minutes in the sin-bin. The Flames, meanwhile, were the least penalized (34 minutes). ... Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog missed his third consecutive game because of head and leg injuries, the result of a controversial check from San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart. ... The Flames announced rookie left-winger Sven Baertschi is week-to-week with a hip flexor injury he suffered during practice earlier this week. ... Flames coach Bob Hartley guided the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup celebration in 2001. Hartley was facing his former team for the fifth time, posting a 3-1-1 record against the Avalanche. ... According to a report in the Denver Post, restricted free-agent center Ryan O'Reilly, who was Colorado's leading point-producer last season but has yet to agree to a new deal, will soon resume skating. He is recovering from a sprained ankle.

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