Calgary, AB – Paul Stastny came through with a pair of goals late in the third period as the Colorado Avalanche broke out of a scoring slump with a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Stastny snapped a 3-3 deadlock with a power-play tally with 2:40 left to play, then recorded an insurance goal just 1:29 later to enable the Avalanche to stop a three-game slide in which the team lit the lamp just one time total.
John Mitchell and P.A. Parenteau also scored twice for Colorado, with Mitchell adding an assist and Jean-Sebastien Giguere making 25 saves in a solid first start of the season.
Miikka Kiprusoff came up with only 16 saves, however, as the Flames fell despite a 28-22 shot advantage on the evening.
"We gave the game away, we gave ourselves a chance to win offensively, but defensively we turned the puck over so many times in key situations and key times of the game," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley.
Jiri Hudler potted two goals along with an assist for a Calgary club coming off Saturday's 4-3 win over Edmonton that followed an 0-2-1 start to the season. Matt Stajan notched a pair of helpers in the loss.
After a wide-open second period in which both teams netted two goals, the scoring was harder to come by during the majority of the final frame, and the game appeared headed towards overtime with the score still knotted at 3-3 with under three minutes left.
Colorado's Matt Duchene would draw a tripping call from Flames defenseman Mark Giordano with 2:48 remaining, however, and it took the Avs a mere eight seconds to move in front.
Parenteau knocked Jay Bouwmeester off the puck behind the Calgary goal, with Stastny pouncing on the loose disc and putting a wraparound try underneath Kiprusoff's pads to break the stalemate.
Stastny struck again on his next shift, whipping a wrist shot from the left circle by Kiprusoff to make it a two-goal margin with just 1:11 left, and Parenteau put home an empty-netter 23 seconds afterward to seal the victory.
"Credit to the guys, they stuck with it for 60 minutes tonight and we had played last night," said Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco. "I thought we found some good energy there in the third."
Hudler, playing in just his second game since returning from his father's funeral in the Czech Republic, got Calgary on the board first after intercepting a pass from Avs blueliner Matt Hunwick and firing a shot past Giguere at the 7:23 mark of the initial period.
Despite being outshot by a 12-7 count in the opening frame, the Avalanche still went into the first intermission tied after Mitchell picked off a failed clearing attempt by Flames defenseman Chris Butler and buried a hard shot over Kiprusoff's right shoulder with just 46.1 seconds left in the period.
"John Mitchell had a really strong game again tonight," said Sacco. "I thought he did a lot of good things."
Hudler's second tally of the night, which came off a cross-crease pass from Stajan following a nifty feed by Roman Cervenka, put Calgary back on top just 1:49 into the second session. The lead would be short-lived, however, when Parenteau finished on odd-man rush with a wrister that beat Kiprusoff less than two minutes later.
Mitchell's one-timer off a behind-the-net look from Chuck Kobasew sent Colorado in front with 3:02 left in the second, but the Flames pulled even when a well-executed give-and-go between Hudler and Alex Tanguay resulted in the former Av's third goal of the season with only 18 seconds to go in the period.
Mitchell recorded only the second two-goal game of his career, with the other coming against New Jersey on Mar. 3, 2009 while then a rookie with Toronto ... Hudler's last two-goal effort also came against Colorado, when the veteran accomplished the feat with Detroit on Feb. 25 of last season ... Hartley, in his first season as the Flames head coach, held the same position with the Avalanche from 1998-2002 and led the franchise to a Stanley Cup championship in 2001 ... Stastny's first goal ended a 1-for-20 stretch on the power play for Colorado to begin the season ... Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog missed a second straight game with head and leg injuries ... The Flames announced on Thursday that rookie forward Sven Baertschi is week-to-week with a hip flexor he sustained during a recent practice.