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Kristian Huselius' two goals lifts Flames over Avalanche 5-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Kristian Huselius' two goals lifts Flames over Avalanche 5-2

The Canadian Press
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After being benched for parts of Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Avalanche, Huselius responded with the kind of dazzling offensive display that had almost become routine during his recent 15-game scoring streak.

With the score tied 2-2, Phaneuf put the Flames ahead at 16:31 of the second on his 14th goal of the season.

As Huselius cut towards the middle of the Colorado slot, he handily slid the puck back the opposite direction to a waiting Phaneuf, who ripped a slap shot past netminder Peter Budaj.

Huselius added his second of the night and 27th of the season at 9:08 of the third period, ripping a wrist shot over the blocker of Budaj from a near impossible angle after being set up by Jarome Iginla.

Iginla and Stephane Yelle, with an empty-netter, also scored for Calgary (31-20-8). In the back-and-forth Northwest Division playoff race, the Flames climb back into a tie for first place with Vancouver, although the Canucks hold one game in hand. Minnesota is just one point back.

Paul Stastny and Andrew Brunette scored for Colorado (28-26-4), which play in Vancouver Sunday night before returning home to play the Flames again on Tuesday night.

After a lacklustre scoreless first period in which both teams combined for just nine shots on goal, both offences awakened in the second period.

Calgary struck first at 2:59 when Huselius notched his 26th goal of the season.

Daymond Langkow worked the puck back to Andrei Zyuzin at the blue-line, who spotted Huselius alone at the side of the net and threaded him a perfect pass for an easy tap in.

Colorado responded with a pair of goals just over three minutes apart to jump in front 2-1.

At 7:42, Milan Hejduk deflected Karlis Skrastin's shot and the puck caromed right to Stastny at the side of the crease who flipped the puck in the open side.

Brunette was the benefactor of a big rebound on the go-ahead goal as Miikka Kiprusoff kicked out Joe Sakic's hard slapshot from the corner right into the slot where Brunette buried his 21st of the season.

Calgary evened it 2-2 at 14:45 on the power play.

Langkow gained the Colorado blue-line and zipped a pass across to Iginla who one-timed a low slap shot inside the goal post beyond Budaj's outstretched pad.

Calgary lost David Moss to injury in the first period.

Colorado defenceman Ossi Vaananen was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct for a check from behind on the rookie forward, who went flying face first into the edge of the boards, a jolt that left him down on the ice bleeding from the face.

Notes - Colorado RW Milan Hejduk played in his 600th NHL game... Colorado D Jordan Leopold did not play after hurting his wrist in Thursday's game... At 313 career goals, Iginla is two away from passing Joe Nieuwendyk and moving into second place on the franchise all-time list. Theoren Fleury (364) is number one... Colorado C Joe Sakic is one goal away from tying Jari Kurri (601) for 16th place on the NHL all-time list... Stastny needs two more points to tie Alex Tanguay's franchise record for most points by a rookie of 51, set in 1999-2000.

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Kristian Huselius' two goals lifts Flames over Avalanche 5-2