CALGARY -- Mike Cammalleri scored twice and Joey MacDonald made 27 saves as the Flames held on to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Flames captain Jarome Iginla was a healthy scratch amidst trade speculation and was finally traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins after the game was over.
The Flames started MacDonald against Colorado in place of Miikka Kiprusoff, who played 24 hours before against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Inspired by the absence of their captain, Calgary took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
With the Flames on the power play, Roman Cervenka fed fellow Czech Jiri Hudler in the slot. After a couple of whacks on Varlamov, Hudler was able to bang home his seventh of the season at 8:10.
Steve Begin extended the lead to two at 12:01 after his backhand from the goal line bounced off the stick of Shane O'Brien and trickled behind Varlamov.
The second period made for some more explosive hockey between the Northwest Division rivals.
After Jamie McGinn and Cammalleri exchanged near-identical rebound goals 12 seconds apart to open the period, Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog scored a strange one just after MacDonald denied a streaking Matt Duchene with a dazzling second-effort.
Coming off the wing, Duchene poked the puck through Flames defenseman TJ Brodie and put a low shot on MacDonald. He handled the initial shot and reached back to snag the rebound in mid air before it had a chance to get into the net.
On the ensuing face-off, Landeskog's centering attempt from below the goal line ricocheted off the outside of the net, up MacDonald's pad and trickled into the net to cut Calgary's lead to 3-2 at 9:14.
Again, Cammalleri answered the goal, one-timing a Dennis Wideman feed from the bottom of the left circle behind Varlamov to return the lead to two with 7:19 remaining in the period.
Calgary tightened up in the third, thanks in part to MacDonald.
After losing track of the puck on a rebound that bounced up into the air, MacDonald scrambled to make a toe save off McGinn before gloving another attempt moments later.
The saves sparked the Flames, but they couldn't solve Varlamov on the ensuing chances.
Colorado was able to cut the Calgary lead to one with both Matt Stajan and Alex Tanguay in the penalty box for a 5-on-3 power play. Ryan O'Reilly scored his fourth of the season just 28 seconds into the two-man advantage as he lifted the puck over an out-of-position MacDonald to make it a 4-3 game with 7:26 left.
An inspired Duchene almost tied the goal with five minutes remaining, walking around Calgary blueliner Jay Bouwmeester and firing the puck just over the top of MacDonald's cage. The Flames goalie followed it up with another glove save off Duchene with 25.2 seconds remaining to preserve the win.
Colorado will play in Vancouver on Thursday night.
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