NHL: Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Saturday, 24 November 2007 01:00
NHL Headline News

Unstoppable at Home

The Colorado Avalanche haven't had much success on the road this season. But at home they've been nearly unstoppable.

Colorado goes for its 10th home win in 11 tries on Saturday when it meets the Calgary Flames for the fifth time this season.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Colorado -146 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Colorado -146 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

The NHL's best home team at 9-1-0, the Avalanche were 0-3-0 on a four-game road trip and 2-7-1 away from Denver overall before winning 3-2 at Edmonton on Thursday.

"We salvaged the trip with one game," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was disappointing up to (Thursday's) game with three tough losses and two really poor performances."

Marek Svatos scored the eventual game-winner - his ninth goal of the season - in the second period, when the Avalanche outshot the Oilers 16-2. Peter Budaj made seven of his 14 saves in the third to improve to 8-4-0 on the season.

The main reason Colorado (12-8-1) hasn't had much success on the road is its inability to score goals. Before the Edmonton game, the Avalanche had just 17 goals in 10 games away from home, and they hadn't scored more than once in a road game since a 3-2 win at Calgary on Oct. 26.

"It wasn't the road trip we wanted, but at least we finished it off on a good note," said Ryan Smyth, who assisted on Karlis Skrastins first-period goal. "We have been playing very well at home so we want to continue that as we carry forward the momentum from this game."

Colorado didn't get a goal from its leading scorer, Paul Stastny, on the trip. Stastny has nine goals to tie Svatos for the team lead, but he's only scored once away from the Pepsi Center.

One of Colorado's three losses on its trip came in Calgary on Tuesday, the first time the Flames (9-10-3) had beaten the Avalanche in four tries this season.

Calgary lost its most recent game, 2-1 at home to Chicago on Thursday, after winning three of its previous four contests.

After giving up just one short-handed goal in its first 21 games, Calgary let Chicago score both of its goals while down a man. Patrick Sharp got the game-winner at the beginning of the third, and the Flames couldn't score on Nikolai Khabibulin despite outshooting the Blackhawks 15-2 in the period.

"We outplayed them, we just didn't put it in the net and they got the lucky ones," Flames defenseman Adrian Aucoin said.

Jarome Iginla scored Calgary's lone goal, his 13th of the season, on a power play in the second period. Iginla also has 15 assists and his 28 points rank him among the top 10 in the NHL. He tied a season high with eight of his team's 31 shots on goal against the Blackhawks.

Calgary kills just 77.0 percent of the opposition's power plays, but Colorado converts just 13.7 percent of its chances with the man advantage.

The Avalanche had won seven of the last eight meetings with Calgary before losing on Tuesday. The Flames have dropped their last five games in Colorado.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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