Flames 'Forgot how to play'

Colorado Avalanche Darcy Tucker gets the puck past Calgary Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff and Dion...

Colorado Avalanche Darcy Tucker gets the puck past Calgary Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff and Dion Phaneuf. (REUTERS/Mark Leffingwell)

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

DENVER -- Brent Sutter described his team's last game at home -- a 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota Friday night -- as a stinker.

He had stronger words for last night's outing.

Sutter didn't explode like Mount Vesuvius after his team's 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, but he came awfully close.

"It was a carry over from the other night," he said. "We played three terrible periods at home the other night and it carried over for two periods here tonight. That tells me a little bit."

Asked what it told him, Sutter said: "I don't want to get into it."

But he did give a solid hint.

"There was a sense of urgency in the third (period) that hasn't been there for five periods," he said.

Despite the lack of urgency -- plus lack of discipline and execution -- in the first two periods, the Flames had a chance, thanks to the goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff.

They were only down 1-0 through an opening period in which they surrendered 20 shots but were down 3-1 heading into the final frame before the Pepsi Center crowd of 11,448. The push was there, but the tying goal was nowhere to be found.

"We were standing around in the first period and got ourselves into really bad penalty trouble. We were lucky to come out of it 1-0 at that point," said captain Jarome Iginla. "A big game, when you're sitting in the box the whole time and the other team is fired up and on the powerplay the whole time, it's definitely an uphill battle."

Colorado opened the scoring thanks to Wojtek Wolski's five-on-three goal, and rode second-period tallies by Chris Stewart and Darcy Tucker to its third staight victory over the Flames this season.

The Avalanche (19-10-6) move ahead of the Flames for top spot in the Northwest.

Calgary (19-9-4) falls to fifth in the Western Conference, with one win in four, and heads to St. Louis with questions coming from the coach.

"Do they want to come businesslike, where games mean something? Where they're important?" he said.

"I thought tonight's game was a very, very important game, but obviously it was just the coaches that thought that.

"It's a group that ... in a matter of four days, forgot how to play. We started finding it again in the third period, but in this league, it's tough to be average and we've certainly been below that the last two games."

Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano replied for Calgary.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

THREE STARS

AS CHOSEN BY SUN MEDIA

CHRIS STEWART

Avalanche winger led his team with one goal and one assist.

WOJTEK WOLSKI

Winger takes over team lead with his 13th goal of the season, plus had an assist.

MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

Held his team in a game longer than it should have been.


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