Sliding Avs return home to battle Flames

The Colorado Avalanche hope to avoid a season-high fourth straight setback on Thursday as they return home from a winless road trip to battle the Calgary Flames.

The Avalanche failed to earn a victory during their three-game tour of California, though they did pick up two points on the trip due to a pair of post-regulation losses. That included a 3-2 shootout setback to the San Jose Sharks in Tuesday's finale of the swing.

Colorado got a pair of game-tying goals from Chuck Kobasew and Mark Olver, with the latter forcing overtime on a goal with 3:16 to play in regulation. However, San Jose scored twice in the shootout and Colorado could only muster a tally from P.A. Parenteau.

Semyon Varlamov made 39 saves, but couldn't get a stop on Patrick Marleau's shootout winner in the fourth round.

"I like the fact we show some resiliency after falling behind twice," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "We were able to tie the game somewhat late and that was a big point for us. It's disappointing we weren't able to scratch out that second point. I thought our goalie was outstanding. He gave us a chance to hang around there until the end."

Colorado's third straight loss dropped the club to 2-6-2 on the road, compared to a 5-2-1 mark at home. The Avalanche hit the road for another three straight after Thursday's clash with the Flames.

Matt Duchene, who leads the Avs with 11 assists and 17 points, did not play against the Sharks because of a groin injury and did not practice on Wednesday as well. He is day-to-day.

Meanwhile, the Flames will try to rebound in this game after failing to secure a third straight victory for the first time this season on Tuesday, when they fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime.

Calgary dominated most of the game and took an early lead on Alex Tanguay's first-period goal, but Minnesota tied the game with 4:19 left in regulation before Zach Parise scored a power-play goal for the Wild 27 seconds into overtime.

Joey MacDonald came up with 28 saves in defeat, including 20 through the first two periods.

"We wasted our best goaltending performance that we have had all year," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "I feel very sad for Joey MacDonald because he definitely he deserved the first star and more importantly he deserved the win."

The Flames will also be trying to avoid a fourth straight loss to the Avalanche, a slide that comes on the heels of them winning nine straight in this series. Calgary dropped a 6-3 decision to Colorado at home on Jan. 31.

Paul Stastny had a pair of third-period goals for the Avs, who snapped a seven-game series home losing streak to the Flames with a 2-1 overtime victory on March 20 of last year.