SUN Hockey Pool

Young Avs snuff Flames

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

DENVER -- For once it was Colorado's next generation that snuffed out the Flames.

So often over the years it's been Super Joe Sakic -- with aid from the likes of Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk and Patrick Roy -- who've been instrumental in making Mile High City visits a disappointment.

Last night, the young ones did the deed for the Avs in a 4-3 decision at the Pepsi Center.

Rookie Paul Stastny scored twice and Marek Svatos broke open a tie early in the third period to hand the Flames their sixth consecutive road defeat.

Calgary falls to 31-20-8 and now sits third in the Northwest Division chase, eighth in the Western Conference.

Seeing as the two teams combined for 36 goals in their first four meetings of the season, it was a good bet goals would be coming fast and furious again.

It didn't take long to prove that theory would come true.

Needing a boost to help their road fortunes, the Flames special teams started out poorly and it cost the club before long.

After failing to register a shot on an early powerplay -- and giving up two chances to the shorthanded Avs -- the visitors were unable to hold the fort soon after while down a man.

Milan Hejduk kept the puck in the offensive zone, barely, before moving it down to Joe Sakic and then to Andrew Brunette at the end boards.

Stastny, the rookie whose father Peter was a star when the franchise was in Quebec City, beat Miikka Kiprusoff with a quick shot after the puck came to him in the slot for his 20th of the season.

And the see-saw opening period and more was underway.

Calgary's Tony Amonte brought his team even by finishing a pretty two-on-one rush.

Sprung on the break after a Kiprusoff blocker save, Wayne Primeau fed a backhand pass through the defencemen's legs for Amonte to tip past Avs netminder Peter Budaj.

Stastny came through again on the powerplay for the Avs to restore their lead. After Calgary killed a 89-second five-on-three advantage, Stastny banked a sharp-angled shot in off a sprawled Kiprusoff.

Then it was Calgary's powerplay that stepped up, with Dion Phaneuf doing the honours.

With Jarome Iginla and a trio of Avs between Phaneuf and the Avalanche netminder, the defenceman ripped a wrister from the point that banked in off the post.

The wacky first period couldn't end there, thanks to Hejduk, who slid a backhand through Kiprusoff's five-hole with 53.4 seconds left

Not too long into the second period, though, the Flames again evened the clash with another powerplay tally.

Kristian Huselius was parked on his off-wing awaiting the pass that came from Jarome Iginla, and ripped a shot into a yawning net.

That only set the table for Svatos' heroics.

Svatos, scratched a few games recently, broke the deadlock 84 seconds into the final period with his team's third powerplay goal.

Sent on a breakaway by John-Michael Liles, Svatos waited for Kiprusoff to make his move -- a pokecheck -- before roofing a shot.


Videos

Photos