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Flames turn up the heat against Avalanche

Image (1) Kipper-thumb-250x157-8431.jpg for post 647

The best game of the night was easily the one that had the most stakes attached to it. The Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche battled for the 8th spot in the Western Conference, and thanks to Miikka Kiprusoff’s 35 saves the Flames were able to pull away with the big victory.

Both teams are now tied with 89 points, yet Colorado is able to hang on to the 8th spot for now thanks to tie breakers.

Despite the Avalanche threatening to pull off a historic playoff collapse -- something I thought the Ottawa Senators were on their way to a few weeks ago -- at times it seemed as if Colorado just wasn’t as interested the Flames were determined. Craig Anderson kept the game from getting out of hand, and his teammates didn’t seem to wake up until the Avs went down 2-0 in the third period.

Is this Colorado’s inexperience and youth showing? All season long Craig Anderson has carried the team on his back, and now when the stakes are at their highest the cracks are starting to show. They’ve now lost four in a row, and the Flames looked like a team that knew what it was fighting for, while the Avs did not.

“We were taking it like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals,” said Rene Bourque, who scored his 26th goal of the season early in the third period. “That’s how we have to treat every game from now on.”

The Flames have had their share of questionable efforts when the season was on the line, but after a 5-0 collapse against Boston a week ago have roared back into playoff contention. This is one instance where publicly calling out the team and its leaders has definitely worked.

Sadly, this is the final game of the season between the Avs and Flames. I always love a do-or-die game on the final night of the season.