for this game

Theodore helps Avalanche snap four-game skid

Mar 25, 2008 - 5:34 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- One game after being pulled in a loss at Edmonton, Jose Theodore earned what was arguably his biggest victory with Colorado.

Theodore made 23 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Avalanche climbed back into the Northwest Division race with a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night at Pepsi Center.

"I was really pleased with the way that the guys were playing," Theodore said. "I was seeing the puck well. It was a big difference compared to the last game that we played."

Defenseman Jordan Leopold scored a power-play goal in what was a must-win for the Avalanche, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Milan Hejduk added a goal with 6:41 to play as Colorado pulled within three points of Minnesota and kept the Avalanche three points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, who defeated the Minnesota Wild, 5-3.

"We got a big power-play goal and it's always huge to get the first goal in this league," Theodore said. "The second one was even bigger to give us a little bit of a breather."

Prior to that, Theodore had preserved the lead by stopping Alex Tanguay's wrist shot from the slot with 10:49 left in the third period. He also made a huge stop on Craig Conroy's breakaway during a 5-on-3 in the second period.

"I thought it was a real business--like game," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "Our defensive game was rock solid. Jose was excellent in the net as well (with) several key stops at critical times."

Calgary missed out on a chance to pull within one point of Minnesota.

The Flames were shut out for just the fifth time this season, primarily because the Avs were able to control captain Jarome Iginla, who leads Calgary with 48 goals and is third in the NHL with 91 points.

"We had our power plays" Iginla said. "In one-goal games at this time of year, special teams are a big difference in the game. Our PK did a great job. It's still a one-goal game going into the third on the road. We want to find a way to win those games."

Leopold, who came to Colorado from the Flames in a trade for Tanguay, put the Avs ahead, 1-0, on the power play at 6:36 of the middle session. He beat Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff from between the circles, jumping on the rebound of Wojtek Wolski's shot that bounced off Peter Forsberg.

"My goal was kind of a broken play actually," Leopold said. "It's one of those deals where I fed Wolly for a one-timer and it went off Foppa (Forsberg) I think and it just laid there and I just honestly put it on net. I knew Kipper was all over the place there, no way he could follow the puck. I put it on net and it went in."

Leopold had missed five of the last six games and had not scored a goal since January 5 against the New York Islanders. Forsberg returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a groin injury.

It was the first power-play tally allowed by the Flames in four games.

Hejduk made it 2-0 when he put a wrist shot in the top right corner after taking a feed from Paul Stastny.

Ryan Smyth, who started the play by working the puck free from Dion Phaneuf in the left corner, eaned his 600th career point.

"It's obviously a great thing to play in the National Hockey League for such a long time," Smyth said. "The points are an added bonus. I thank my teammates throughout my career for helping me get the points that I get."

Curtis Joseph relieved Kiprusoff after the goal so Flames coach Mike Keenan could argue what he thought was an icing call.

Scoring the first goal is critical for Colorado, which is 27-4-3 when scoring first and 25-2-2 when leading after two periods. The Flames fell to 11-19-6 when their opponent scores first and 3-23-1 when trailing after two periods.

Colorado hasn't scored in the first period since March 13, when Jaroslav Hlinka scored with 1:18 remaining to go in a 5-1 victory over Edmonton. But after being outscored, 7-0, in the first period during their four-game losing streak, the Avs probably felt like a scoreless tie was a step in the right direction.

It took just over 13 minutes for Colorado to register its first shot on goal, but the Flames could only muster a 7-6 advantage in shots during the opening period. The Avs outshot Calgary, 13-8, in the middle session.

Kiprusoff was stellar for Calgary. His best save came at 3:24 of the third period when he gloved a Joe Sakic tip from the low slot after a perfect feed by Wolski from the left board. He also stopped Forsberg's slap shot from the left circle in the second period.

"It's a close race," Kiprusoff said. "You know it's going to be a tight game. They were a little better tonight."

The Flames entered the game 3-7-1 at the Pepsi Center since the start of 2005-06, but won here, 5-2, on November 24 in its most recent trip. Calgary hasn't won consecutive games in Colorado since Feb. 24-March 7, 2004.

"They've always played well in this building and they usually have a really good power play, because of the personnel they have," Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "Now they've added Forsberg, and that makes them even more dangerous."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0 0 0
    COLORADO 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) JORDAN LEOPOLD 4 (PETER FORSBERG, WOJTEK WOLSKI)
    6:36
    3RD PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 24 (PAUL STASTNY, RYAN SMYTH) 12:19
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: CGY - 0 OF 5, COL - 1 OF 5.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Mar 25 12:04 AM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 24 (PAUL STASTNY, RYAN SMYTH) 12:19

    Flames 0, Avalanche 2  3rd - 7:41Mar 24 11:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0 0
    COLORADO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) JORDAN LEOPOLD 4 (PETER FORSBERG, WOJTEK WOLSKI)
    6:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 7 8 15
    COL 6 13 19
    GOALIES:

    Mar 24 11:10 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) JORDAN LEOPOLD 4 (PETER FORSBERG, WOJTEK WOLSKI)
    6:36

    Flames 0, Avalanche 1  2nd - 13:24Mar 24 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 5 5
    COL 6 6
    GOALIES: CGY - MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF
    COL - JOSE THEODORE

    Mar 24 10:10 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Flames vs. AvalancheMar 24 1:50 AM