Sliding Avs return home to battle Flames

Updated: February 28, 2013

The Colorado Avalanche hope to avoid a season-high fourth
straight setback on Thursday as they return home from a winless road trip to
battle the Calgary Flames.

The Avalanche failed to earn a victory during their three-game tour of
California, though they did pick up two points on the trip due to a pair of
post-regulation losses. That included a 3-2 shootout setback to the San Jose
Sharks in Tuesday’s finale of the swing.

Colorado got a pair of game-tying goals from Chuck Kobasew and Mark Olver,
with the latter forcing overtime on a goal with 3:16 to play in regulation.
However, San Jose scored twice in the shootout and Colorado could only muster
a tally from P.A. Parenteau.

Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves, but couldn’t get a stop on Patrick Marleau’s
shootout winner in the fourth round.

“I like the fact we show some resiliency after falling behind twice,” Colorado
coach Joe Sacco said. “We were able to tie the game somewhat late and that was
a big point for us. It’s disappointing we weren’t able to scratch out that
second point. I thought our goalie was outstanding. He gave us a chance to
hang around there until the end.”

Colorado’s third straight loss dropped the club to 2-6-2 on the road, compared
to a 5-2-1 mark at home. The Avalanche hit the road for another three straight
after Thursday’s clash with the Flames.

Matt Duchene, who leads the Avs with 11 assists and 17 points, did not play
against the Sharks because of a groin injury and did not practice on Wednesday
as well. He is day-to-day.

Meanwhile, the Flames will try to rebound in this game after failing to secure
a third straight victory for the first time this season on Tuesday, when they
fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime.

Calgary dominated most of the game and took an early lead on Alex Tanguay’s
first-period goal, but Minnesota tied the game with 4:19 left in regulation
before Zach Parise scored a power-play goal for the Wild 27 seconds into

Joey MacDonald came up with 28 saves in defeat, including 20 through the first
two periods.

“We wasted our best goaltending performance that we have had all year,” said
Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. “I feel very sad for Joey MacDonald because he
definitely he deserved the first star and more importantly he deserved the

The Flames will also be trying to avoid a fourth straight loss to the
Avalanche, a slide that comes on the heels of them winning nine straight in
this series. Calgary dropped a 6-3 decision to Colorado at home on Jan. 31.

Paul Stastny had a pair of third-period goals for the Avs, who snapped a
seven-game series home losing streak to the Flames with a 2-1 overtime victory
on March 20 of last year.