CALGARY -- Best way to make the playoffs is to provide playoff hockey.
You know the type, a tight-checking, close-to-the-vest defensive effort with solid forechecking and the right mix of goaltending and timely goal scoring.
That's the recipe the Calgary Flames came up with for last night's crucial 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Exciting hockey? Depends on your point of view, but coming off a horrendous road trip and needing a win, no matter how it came, the Flames started the race to the finish line with all intra-divisional games with the exact kind of effort needed.
Combined with Vancouver's win over Edmonton and Detroit's victory over Nashville, the Flames (38-26-10) have a six-point edge on the Western Conference's ninth spot, and sit two points ahead of Colorado (39-30-6) and with a game in hand.
Jarom Iginla driving the net led to Calgary's first goal. While he didn't beat Jose Theodore, Daymond Langkow was there for the easy tap-in.
Craig Conroy scored what would stand up as the winner when he found the puck in a scramble and put it home.
The Avs got one back when Ben Guite pounced on a loose puck, but it wasn't enough.