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November 19, 2009

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Anderson strong as Avalanche douse Flames

THE Colorado Avalanche retained control of the Northwest division on Tuesday, holding off their nearest challengers, the Calgary Flames, 3-2.

Milan Hejduk scored with 54 seconds left in the second period to break a 2-2 deadlock, while Craig Anderson proved rock solid in the net to deny the Flames an equalizer in the scoreless third.

Cody McLeod converted a snap shot for Colorado at 18 minutes in a frenetic second period in which four goals were scored.

"We gave up those two goals there at the end of the second just when we were starting to get going," Calgary coach Brent Sutter told reporters.

"When you're playing for first place in your division you'd like to think you can overcome mistakes."

In other National Hockey League games, it was: Capitals 4, Rangers 2; Canadiens 3, Hurricanes 2 (in a shootout); Senators 3, Maple Leafs 2; and Predators 4, Sharks 3;

In Calgary, Alberta, Ryan Wilson put Colorado ahead 1-0 in the first period with the first goal of his NHL career, and also added an assist.

Calgary then took control in the second, however, through Jarome Iginla, who scored his 12th goal of the year and eighth in his last seven games, and Rene Bourque.

The win helped the Avalanche (13-5-3) snap a three-game losing streak and tighten their grip over the Northwest after the Flames, who had won five of their previous six games, had crept to within a point prior to the game.

Anderson, who was pulled after allowing four goals against the Vancouver Canucks last Saturday, made 34 saves for Colorado, repelling 11 shots in the third as Calgary pushed hard for an equalizer.

Anderson hailed his teammates who helped kill off the Flames' three powerplay opportunities. "Any time you get some help from your forwards and defense keeping the puck from getting to the net, that makes my job easier," said Anderson, whose team entered the game second in the NHL in blocked shots. "I can't stress that enough."

Bounced back

In New York, Matt Bradley bounced back from having his face bloodied in a first-period fight to net the winning goal as Washington beat New York.

Bradley was forced off in the opening period after taking several hard blows to the face from New York's Aaron Voros. Then with 4:51 left in the third, he raced up the ice on a break and beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the winner.

Brooks Laich and Brian Pothier also scored for the Capitals, who welcomed back Alex Ovechkin from injury.

Marian Gaborik scored both goals for the Rangers and moved into a tie for the league lead with Ovechkin with his 15th.


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