Avalanche-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 31, 2013
The Calgary Flames finally got into the win column last time out thanks in large part to the efforts of Lee Stempniak. Stempniak and the Flames will try to earn another victory Thursday night by taking advantage of the struggling Colorado Avalanche, who are winless away from home. After falling 4-1 to San Jose in its season opener Jan. 20, Calgary got progressively closer to a win until breaking through. The Flames (1-2-1) lost by a goal to Anaheim the next day and were edged in a shootout in Vancouver last Wednesday before getting past rival Edmonton 4-3 on Saturday to avoid their worst start since 1999-2000. Stempniak had a goal and two assists against the Oilers - all in the first two periods - and has five points in the first four games (three goals, two assists). "I've been trying to be more consistent," said the winger, who had 14 goals in 61 games during his first season in Calgary. "I've sort of been a streaky scorer in the past." Curtis Glencross also scored his third goal of the season and is tied with Stempniak for the team points lead with five. Perennial scoring leader and captain Jarome Iginla, however, has yet to find the net but has an assist in each of the last three games. Iginla will try to avoid his longest drought to start a season since a career-worst 11-game run in 1999-2000 when the Flames welcome in the Avalanche, who have lost three in a row and are 0-4-0 on the road. Colorado (2-4-0) has been outscored 11-1 in the first three of a four-game trip. The Avalanche, who had nine goals in their first three games, were shut out for the second time during their skid Wednesday, falling 3-0 to Vancouver. "Every team goes through dry spells and slumps,'' Matt Duchene said. "When they come, they'll come. It takes a little while sometimes. We've got to keep pressing. We're getting chances.'' The Avalanche haven't lost their first five road games since they were the Quebec Nordiques and dropped a franchise-worst nine straight away from home to begin 1991-92. That team went 2-29 with nine ties and didn't earn its first road win until its 34th game March 5. Colorado has won each of its past two matchups with the Flames and snapped a four-game skid in Calgary with a 4-1 victory March 30. Iginla ruined Semyon Varlamov's bid for a shutout with a power-play goal in the final minute. Varlamov has started every game this season but it's unclear if he or Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be in the net for the second half of back-to-back contests. Varlamov, though, might get the call again as he has allowed one goal in each of Colorado's past two wins over Calgary while Giguere is 0-3-1 with a 2.98 goals-against average in his last four matchups, the most recent on Dec. 8, 2011. Miikka Kiprusoff is once again the Flames' workhorse in net, starting every game so far. The Finnish netminder, who has made 68 or more starts in each of the past seven seasons, is 10-1-1 with a 1.85 GAA in his last 12 games against Colorado. It's unknown if Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will play in this game. He's missed the past two contests after taking a hit Saturday from San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart. Glencross scored in three of the Flames' four wins over the Avalanche in 2011-12 and Stempniak had a goal and an assist in two of those games.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander fined $100,000 for confronting official

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Genie Bouchard: Maria Sharapova is ‘cheater,’ should be banned for life

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Westbrook hasn’t ‘even thought about’ contract extension

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker