Avalanche 4, Flames 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 31, 2012
Semyon Varlamov made 38 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Friday night to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Colorado matched San Jose with 88 points, one behind Dallas and Phoenix for the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Avalanche will wrap up the regular season with home games against Columbus and Nashville, while Phoenix and San Jose each have four games left. Dallas has five to go, including a game Friday night at Vancouver. Mark Olver, David Jones, Milan Hejduk and Peter Mueller scored to help Colorado snap a four-game winless streak. The Avalanche began their three-game trip with losses in San Jose and Vancouver. Jarome Iginla had a power-play goal for Calgary with 38 seconds left. The Flames, who have three games remaining, fall three points behind Colorado and could be mathematically eliminated Saturday night when they play in Vancouver. Gabriel Landeskog had two assists for Colorado push his points total to 51, moving him past New Jersey's Adam Henrique into top spot in the NHL rookie scoring race. The 19-year-old Swede also lead rookies in plus-minus at plus-23 after being a plus-3 against Calgary. The best stops for Varlamov, making his seventh consecutive start, came in the first period, just before Colorado scored its first two goals. Seconds before Olver opened the scoring, the 23-year-old goalie stopped Curtis Glencross' one-timer from the side of the net. Just before Colorado's second goal, Varlamov denied Mike Cammalleri from the slot. Notes: Calgary is 1-4-3 in its last eight games. The Flames will likely miss the playoffs for the third straight season and 10th time in 15 years. ... Iginla's last-minute goal snapped Calgary's shutout stretch on home ice at 139:50. ... Colorado didn't have a power play, the seventh time that's happened this season.
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