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Flames maintain playoff push with win over Avs

DENVER (Reuters) - Rene Bourque scored twice to help the Calgary Flames hold off the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Wednesday for a first win over their Northwest Division rivals in five attempts this season.

The win moved the Flames (35-26-9) a point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Calgary cruised to a 3-0 lead, Eric Nystrom's goal sandwiched between Bourque's brace, before the Avs fought back. Chris Durno got Colorado (40-24-6) on the board in the second period and Milan Hejduk made it 3-2 with 33 seconds left in the game.

Bourque recognized how crucial his second goal was.

"It was huge," he told reporters. "To get one there made a big difference in the game.

"I kind of crept to the side of the net and when (Mark Giordano) shot it, he saw me there and just tried to get it low to the far side and it was a tap-in."

Bourque's winner was his 22nd goal of the season, a career high.

Goaltender Vesa Toskala, acquired in a trade with Anaheim on March 3, had 32 saves in his second start with the Flames.

"Every game is big right now," Toskala said. "We're fighting for a playoff spot right now so every game is like a playoff game. It was a good effort tonight and a huge win."

Colorado, fifth in the West after finishing dead last a year ago, came into the contest on a three-game win streak.

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing Peter Rutherford)