Repeat performance by Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Four times is a trend, and one the Calgary Flames may need to figure out a way to end against their Northwest Division rivals from south along the Rocky Mountains.

Four times this season the Flames have faced the Colorado Avalanche.

All four times the Avs have skated to a 3-2 victory, as they did last night in a shootout at the Saddledome.

Could it be the Avalanche have a hold on the Flames?

"Oh no, they're not in our head," said Calgary captain Jarome Iginla. "That was one we feel we deserve better. That happens over the course of a year. You get fortunate, get outshot on the road. I'm sure that happened sometime for us this year.

"That game, we look at it as a positive. We stay with that -- we almost had 50 shots. I can't tell you how many scoring chances and the guys were physical early, they were, too -- we'll win lots of games.

"We feel if we play the same way against them, we'll get them next one."

Considering how Calgary finished the night with a 46-21 edge in shots, it's a valid point. Still, the Flames haven't got the Avs yet, which is why they're tied in the Northwest Division standings.

Calgary maintains top spot having played one fewer game, but the Avs have already claimed the season series.

"I don't think it feels like we can't beat that team. We played well and maybe deserved a better outcome," said defenceman Jay Bouw-meester.

"It is frustrating when you play a team like that and haven't beat them and it's a team you're battling with, but it's funny how things work. I don't think there's any doubt in anybody's mind we can beat them."

In three of those games, the Flames had a lead. They've twice wasted 2-0 edges, including a two-goal second-period bulge in last night's contest.

Those points can very well make a difference down the road.

"There are a lot of games you can look back on at the end of the year," Bouwmeester maintained.

"We win those two games in Minnesota and Columbus (last week) and we're up a bunch of points before we go into Vancouver (Saturday).

"With how close it is, any time you lose, someone's catching up. When it's a team who can jump over you, you don't want it to happen, so you can't lose."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

THREE STARS

AS CHOSEN BY STEVE MACFARLANE

CRAIG ANDERSON

Third-period performance alone was a thing of beauty.

RENE BOURQUE

Scored for the third game in a row to give him 17 on the season.

CHRIS STEWART

A goal and a fight for the winning team's unheralded big winger.


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