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Avs--Flames Settle For 3-3 Tie


Despite scoring a goal against his former Calgary teammates, Theo Fleury considered the resulting tie a flame-out.

Fleury, facing Calgary for the first time since being traded to Colorado, also had an assist but was unhappy with the Avalanche's uninspired play in a 3-3 tie with the Flames on Tuesday night.

"The way we played wasn't acceptable," Fleury said. "There has to be passion. There has to be grit. We let them come through at the beginning of the game and get up two goals and, `Oh, geez. It's time to play hockey."

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  • Derek Morris had the game-tying goal for the Flames, who ended a two-game losing streak and gained a valuable point in their bid for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Calgary moved one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, 7-4 losers to Phoenix. The Flames and Oilers face each other three times in the season's final eight games.

    "It's a big point with this many games left in the season, especially on the road," Calgary center Jarome Iginla said. "It was a battle out there. We definitely wanted to win, but it's a big point."

    Fleury, who spent 11 seasons in Calgary before being traded Feb. 28, continued his torrid scoring with Colorado. He has eight goals and seven assists in seven games with the Avalanche.

    "He got one goal, but he was Theo," Calgary coach Brian Sutter said. "He's a world-class player, but we did a darn good job against him,"

    Fleury nearly scored the game-winner with 2:03 remaining in overtime as he skated down the right side, narrowly kept his balance while splitting two defenders and slapped a shot from a bad angle. Ken Wregget made a smothering save.

    Wregget finished with 21 saves and Patrick Roy stopped 31 shots for the Avalanche, who extended their home unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2). The streak was little consolation to Fleury.

    "I didn't have my best gam, either," he said. "I'm disappointed to get a tie. It would have been more exciting to have won. That's is why I'm here."

    Roy made a glove save on a shot by Andrew Cassels with three seconds left in overtime, and Aaron Miller tackled Calgary's Rene Corbet in the crease to prevent any rebound chance.

    Iginla nearly scored off the ensuing faceoff, but Roy kicked the shot away as the horn sounded.

    "It was unbelievable," Iginla said. "I think everyone kind of stood around and thought the buzzer was going to go, and it came right back to me. I got pretty good wood on it. I was just trying to get it off because I expected the buzzer to go, too. Roy made a good save."

    Trailing 2-1 entering the second period, the Avalanche tied the game on Sandis Ozolinsh's power-play goal at 8:31 and went ahead on Shjon Podein's breakaway 3:40 later.

    It was Podein's first goal since Nov. 11, when he was still with the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Calgary countered at 15:23 when Derek Morris slapped in a rebound on a power play. The Flames, who missed several chances on flurries in front of the net, were fortunate to still be tied heading to the third period as Fleury hit the left post on a shot in the final minute of the second.

    Colorado looked lackadaisical early, falling behind 2-0 on goals by Valeri Bure and Jason Wiemer 2:03 apart midway through the first period. Wiemer later left the game with a bruised left wrist. He is considered day-to-day.

    Fleury got the Avalanche within a goal as he skated down the left side, took a pass from Peter Forsberg and flipped a backhand shot over Wregget's right shoulder with 36 seconds left in the period.

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