The Colorado Avalanche had a golden opportunity to take a win from the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, but were unable to rise to the occasion. The Flames were without captain Jarome Iginla, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins later in the evening, and also started backup goaltender Joey MacDonald in place of star starter Miikka Kiprusoff. The Avalanche have lost three straight games and seven of their last eight while struggling to find answers. The Flames jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, and while the Avalanche staged a comeback, it was too little too late and they were unable to make up for their slow start.
Jiri Hudler and Steve Begin staked the Flames to an early lead, but the Avalanche got second period goals from Jamie McGinn and Gabriel Landeskog to pull within reach. The Flames got two second-period goals from Mike Cammalleri and headed into the final frame with a two-goal lead. Ryan O’Reilly scored a power play goal in the third period, but Colorado was unable to score a tying goal. Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves, but that would not be enough to help him record his first win in more than two weeks.
The Avalanche can take a few positives away from the loss, as McGinn and O’Reilly continue to be the team’s best offensive performers. Their power play also converted for a third straight game, and they scored three goals for the first time in three games. What they did learn on Wednesday was that they may struggle to catch teams when playing from behind, and they cannot let themselves get in an early hole.