The Colorado Avalanche return to Pepsi Center after a miracle shootout victory against Phoenix -- a game where they scored the tying goal with five minutes remaining on their first (and only) shot of the third period -- to face their division rivals Calgary Flames, a team desperate for a victory.
Calgary's second half surge is falling short of the playoffs, as they trail the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by three points for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race. They have been led by their captain and top forward Jarome Iginla, who has nine goals and give assists in the previous 10 games. Calgary is a middling 3-5-2 in those games, and have fallen from a sure bet for the postseason to a spot on the outside. Their goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has a poor .871 SV% in those games.
Colorado, on the other hand, has been very competitive against tough competition of late. Previous to their gritty win against Phoenix, they had a chance to tie the game late on Friday night against the playoff bound Nashville Predators. With the second worst record in the NHL all but sewn up, the Avalanche are playing for team pride and an audition for a roster spot this upcoming season. Ryan O`Reilly, the hero in the Phoenix game with the game-tying goal and the shootout goal, has led the way offensively for Colorado. His five goals in the past ten games represent a quarter of his entire NHL career's scoring.
Three of the Avalanche's final five games are at Pepsi Center, including tonight's matchup.
Puck drops at 6:00 p.m. MDT.