Flames Beat Avs In Shootout
Tony Amonte beat Peter Budaj for the only goal of the shootout. Sauve stopped an impressive group -- Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk and, after Amonte's score, Alex Tanguay to preserve the victory.
It was a dazzling performance for Sauve, who was playing for the first time against the team that drafted him in the second round in 1998, but decided to let him go so he could have a chance to play more regularly.
Making a spot start in place of Miikka Kiprusoff, Sauve stopped 33 shots to help the Flames win in their first time back on the ice since having an eight-game winning streak snapped by Chicago last Friday.
Budaj, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 in shootouts this season. By luck of the draw, the backup goalie has been on the ice for the Avs in all three games that have been tied after overtime. But he has started three of the last four games for Colorado in place of David Aebischer and looked sharp in this one.
Budaj finished with 32 saves. On the two goals he allowed, there wasn't much he could do.
Defenseman Jordan Leopold beat the Avs defense for his first goal of the season at 5:36 of the first period, then Craig MacDonald took a snappy pass from Leopold for a power-play goal to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
After managing only five shots in the first, the Avs picked things up in the second, dominating the play. Their first goal was credited to Pierre Turgeon, whose centering pass from behind the net hit a defender's skate and ricocheted in.
In the third, Brad May and Rob Blake started a 2-on-1 rush at the Calgary blue line. May made a nice pass to Blake's backhand and he stuffed the puck past Sauve to tie it at 2.
That would have been the go-ahead goal for Colorado were it not for one taken away in the second period. Steve Konowalchuk shoved a shot in from the crease, but officials ruled Konowalchuk scored by pushing Sauve into the net. Konowalchuk did, but only after being pushed by MacDonald during the scrum.
Still, it couldn't take away from the fine performance by Sauve, who improved to 2-1 this season and did it by withstanding the most extreme of circumstances -- an NHL shootout.
Sauve stymied Sakic's backhand shot to start, then deflected Hejduk's try over the net. In his attempt to tie, Tanguay tried to jam one between Sauve and the post, but it never really left the ice or came close to the goal line, either.
Avs D Brett Clark was a late scratch because of the flu. ... The Flames improved to 9-1 in November.